Thursday, September 24, 2009

Snake with foot found in China

Snake that grew a foot out of its body: Snake with foot found in China
Snake that grew a foot out of its body Photo: CEN/Europics

Dean Qiongxiu, 66, said she discovered the reptile clinging to the wall of her bedroom with its talons in the middle of the night.

"I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound. I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw," said Mrs Duan of Suining, southwest China.

Mrs Duan said she was so scared she grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death before preserving its body in a bottle of alcohol.

The snake – 16 inches long and the thickness of a little finger – is now being studied at the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang.

Snake expert Long Shuai said: "It is truly shocking but we won't know the cause until we've conducted an autopsy."

A more common mutation among snakes is the growth of a second head, which occurs in a similar way to the formation of Siamese twins in humans.

Such animals are often caught and preserved as lucky tokens but have very little chance of surviving in the wild anyway, especially as the heads have a tendency to attack each other.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New 3.5 b1 OUT !

As usual there are two ways to get it:

1. Preferred: Use the built-in updater from within Paint.NET. If you are using version 3.36, go to the Help menu and then Check for Updates. You will need to click on the Options button, and then make sure that ""Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" is enabled. For v3.5 alpha/beta, go to the Utilities menu instead of the Help menu.

2. Download directly: ... . There is no need to uninstall the old version; that will be taken care of automatically.

Changes since version 3.36's release:

    * Refreshed user interface with new icons and visual styling. For Windows 7 and Vista, it is enhanced for Aero and "glass".
    * Now uses and requires .NET 3.5 SP1, which has many built-in performance improvements.
    * New effect: Blurs -> Surface Blur, by Ed Harvey
    * New effect: Distort -> Dents, by Ed Harvey
    * New effect: Distort -> Crystalize, by Ed Harvey
    * Effect dialog responsiveness has been greatly improved.
    * Images open much faster, especially on single CPU systems.
    * Selection outline is no longer animated. Instead of "dancing ants", an antialiased and stippled "XOR" outline is drawn.
    * Startup performance on most systems will be better by about 20%.
    * Memory usage has been greatly reduced when more than one image is open.
    * The font system for the Text tool has been completely rewritten, and problems with missing fonts and crashes should be a thing of the past.
    * On Windows XP and Vista, the Text tool has improved text rendering quality (it uses GDI instead of GDI+).
    * On Windows 7, the Text tool will use DirectWrite (instead of GDI) which gives even better performance and quality.
    * The toolbar font list has improved usability, rendering quality, and significantly improved performance.
    * The toolbar font list no longer requires an application restart to recognize newly installed fonts.
    * When many fonts are installed, both memory usage and startup performance have been greatly improved.
    * Installation prerequisites are now installed automatically, such as .NET Framework and Windows Installer.
    * Updates can now be downloaded in the background, and installed automatically once you exit the application.
    * General rendering quality has been improved when zoomed in.
    * Added a "Utilities" menu. Updates, Languages, and Plugin Errors have been moved here.
    * Added a "Manage Fonts" command to the Utilities menu.
    * Clicking the middle mouse button on an image thumbnail will now close the image.
    * Improved the Unfocus effect.
    * The DirectDraw Surface (.DDS) file type now allows you to select the resampling algorithm for auto-generated mip-maps.
    * A processor that supports SSE is now required (almost all CPUs purchased this decade satisfy this).
    * Fixed an issue with Gaussian Blur and its treatment of alpha values.
    * Fixed a crash with the "Units" selector in the toolbar.
    * When zoomed in, it is now much easier to resize a very small selection.
    * Now includes a Russian translation.


Malaysian Tourism minister wants to claim dishes as Malaysian
Malaysian Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen claims that some dishes have been hijacked by other countries and wants to claim them back. Dishes like laksa, nasi lemak, bak kut teh, and even hainanese chicken rice. So we Singaporeans have been eating pirated dishes ah?
In fact, the Hainanese in China had better watch out. Stop stealing Malaysian dishes, you crooks! Don't you know that all good food originated in MalaysiaTrulyAsia? That's what the slogan means! Only Malaysia is Truly Asia. Everyone else... FAKE!
Coming soon... The Real Nasi Lemak®, The Real Hainanese Chicken Rice®, The Real Bak Kut Teh®: All rights reserved, Malaysia Tourism Ministry.
Read the AFP report here.
Unspun: "Whose Chicken Rice is it anyway?"
Associated Press: "Malaysia crabby over right to 'hijacked' recipes"

Monday, September 7, 2009

S'pore broadband limps

AS EARLY as four years ago in South Korea, Singapore permanent resident Michael Park could download a 1GB file in a matter of minutes on his hotel's broadband network.
But in Singapore, this would have taken a few hours - even with the fastest broadband connection available.
Mr Park, a finance executive working in Singapore, said: 'My Korean colleagues complain about how slow the broadband is here. In Korea, download speeds hit at least three figures. There, you can stream movies on the Internet with no lag time.'
In a report by news agency Agence France-Presse last week, a global broadband-analysis site ranked Singapore's download speed 24th-fastest in the world.
With average speeds of 7.32Mbps, Singapore's speed is almost three times slower than that of South Korea, which is ranked first with 21.17Mbps.
It fared even worse with upload speeds, coming in 51st with its average of 0.75Mbps. That means the average user here would take more than two hours to upload a high-definition video online, compared to about 15 minutes for an average user in Japan, which had the second-fastest upload speed.
Speeds in Singapore are not as fast as in Hong Kong, Japan or South Korea, because the Republic is just starting to roll out the the ultra-fast fibre-optic broadband network that is widely accessible in those countries, said industry analyst Adeel Najam.
In those countries, download speeds of up to 1GB are possible. In Singapore, retail service providers, such as StarHub, SingTel and M1, currently cite maximums of 10Mbps for upload speeds and 100Mbps for download speeds.
Broadband users rarely hit maximum speeds, say experts.That is because speeds also depend on the broadband equipment used, network traffic, destination server and the number of people simultaneously using the Internet in a household.
Speeds here are set to improve with a new broadband network. By next year, some 60 per cent of all homes and offices are expected to be wired with fibre-optic cables that can support speeds of 1Gbps and more.
Its operating company, StarHub subsidiary Nucleus Connect, will sell bandwidth speeds of 100Mbps to 1Gbps to service providers. Last week, the island's free wireless-broadband network, Wireless@SG, also had its speed doubled from 512kbps to 1Mbps. -- MYPAPER

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Think positive !

The ad is a reflection of the 3 classes in Singapore society: 

1. The monkey represents the low-income, which has no choice but to accept peanuts for wages.

2. The elephant represents the middle-income, which has limited contact with the lower class but cannot connect with their struggle to make ends meet, hence the suggestion that they should think positively.

3. The giraffe represents the upper-class, which is completely oblivious to the struggles of the middle and lower classes. Once in a while, they stick their heads down from the clouds and have a look around, but are not bothered by the economic crisis in any way.

The commercial deserves an award for its deep insights into Singapore society.

Source: MrBrown