Monday, December 28, 2009

The Singapore Solution

How did a sleepy little island transform into a high-tech powerhouse in one generation? It was all in the plan.
By Mark Jacobson
If you want to get a Singaporean to look up from a beloved dish of fish-head curry—or make a harried cabdriver slam on his brakes—say you are going to interview the country's "minister mentor," Lee Kuan Yew, and would like an opinion about what to ask him. "The MM?Wah lau! You're going to see the MM? Real?" You might as well have told a resident of the Emerald City that you're late for an appointment with the Wizard of Oz. After all, LKY, as he is known in acronym-mad Singapore, is more than the "father of the country." He is its inventor, as surely as if he had scientifically formulated the place with precise portions of Plato's Republic, Anglophile elitism, unwavering economic pragmatism, and old-fashioned strong-arm repression.
People like to call Singapore the Switzerland of Southeast Asia, and who can argue? Out of a malarial swamp, the tiny island at the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula gained independence from Britain in 1963 and, in one generation, transformed itself into a legendarily efficient place, where the per capita income for its 3.7 million citizens exceeds that of many European countries, the education and health systems rival anything in the West, government officials are largely corruption free, 90 percent of households own their own homes, taxes are relatively low and sidewalks are clean, and there are no visible homeless people or slums.
If all that, plus a typical unemployment rate of about 3 percent and a nice stash of money in the bank thanks to the government's enforced savings plan, doesn't sound sweet to you, just travel 600 miles south and try getting by in a Jakarta shantytown.

Read the rest of the article on National Geographic Magazine

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WBoot, Boot existing installation of Windows Vista+ from USB storage

Hello everybody,

I'm going to release a new project PWBoot today.

So, what is PWBoot project ?
PWBoot stands for Portable Windows Boot project, this project aims to be make your Windows operating system to boot from USB storage media easily.

Supported platforms: Windows version 6.0+ (Vista or higher).

Tested media type: USB HDD (2.5inch; SATA, IDE), USB Flash (Kingston DataTraveler 100 - 8G)
Notes on tested media:
Kingston DataTraveler 100:
FDD very slow, so I tweaked it by:
  1. Install Hitachi Microdrive (Enable multiple partition capability)
  2. Install EWF (Faster boot up)
  3. Use 2 partitions (C: - Windows(EWF protected), D: Data (writable))
  4. Edit registry to make some folder redirect to D: such as - desktop, user's data, etc.

How to use it?
Very easy, just open the program and click on Patch button - everything done.


Quick tutorial:
Method 1: Virtual machine (OS: Windows Vista, VM: VMware Workstation)

  1. Download Vmware Workstation and install it.
  2. Create a new virtual machine for Windows, choose Custom then pick LSI Logic as SCSI card, use physical DVD-ROM or ISO image as where do you want to install Windows from.
  3. Have your USB drive plugged in. Use physical disk (Advanced) of your USB drive in VMware. Make sure that you choose the correct physical drive (drive 1 usually) or else you might wipe the current OS drive.
  4. Use entire disk.
  5. Click advanced on disk in virtual machine settings. Click on Independent and persistent changes for the disk.
  6. Now, please remove all assigned letters in disk management(diskmgmt.msc) for the USB drive.
  7. Also make sure you format the drive during Vista installation inside VMware. If it is already formatted you still need to format during Vista installation (or else u might get corrupt boot as crcdisk error).
  8. Vmware will show that drive as SCSI disk under LSI Logic controller, this is fine as Vista will install on a SCSI disk.
  9. Boot and go through the Vista install procedure in Vmware.
  10. Let Vista boot into the desktop for the first time in VMware, after that just launch PWBoot program (you need to copy it to your virtual machine first).
  11. Click the Patch button on the main PWBoot program.
  12. Shutdown Windows Vista inside the Vmware.
  13. Close Vmware.
  14. Now reboot your machine and select USB boot drive from BIOS boot. Machine should now boot to Vista desktop.

**Tutorial based on:

Method 2:
Physical machine (OS: Windows Vista, HDD: SATA; 2.5 inch)
  1. Plug the Hard disk drive into the physical machine (SATA or IDE).
  2. Insert Windows Vista installation DVD and boot from it.
  3. Install Windows as usual, to your portable HDD.
  4. After installation finished, apply PWBoot Patch.
  5. Shutdown Windows and turn off your machine.
  6. Take out the HDD and then plug it with interface converter: SATA -> USB, IDE -> USB, etc...
  7. Now reboot your machine and select USB boot drive from BIOS boot. Machine should now boot to Vista desktop.

Change Logs:
Version 1.0:
- Initial release.

Version 1.1:
- Core improvement
- Main GUI changes

Download Link:
Version 1.1

Thursday, December 10, 2009

- Photo updates from the studio - The Kooks

THE KOOKS are currently in the studio working on album #3.

The band recently posted some photo updates - check them out at

There's also a little Christmas present, currently in the making, on it's way too...

Stay tuned.

sspu to join muse on 2010 US tour

Silversun Pickups announced as main support for Muse's 2010 US tour::

February 27, 2010 @ Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, GA

March 1, 2010 @ Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA

March 5, 2010 @ Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

March 6, 2010 @ TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA

March 13, 2010 @ Palace Of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

April 5, 2010 @ The E Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Tickets on sale Saturday, December 12th. There will be a pre-sale beginning tomorrow (Wed, 12/9) @ 10am. For more information, click below.

*Additional dates to be announced Mon, December 14th. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Malaysian Health Ministry issues nationwide dengue alert

By Loh Foon Fong & Muguntan Vanar
PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has announced a nationwide dengue alert following an increase of 99 reported dengue cases within a week with two deaths in Malacca and one in Penang.

Deputy health director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said that 819 cases were reported last week (Nov 15 to 21) compared with 720 the week before (Nov 8 to 14).

“We have issued a dengue alert to state health directors and doctors to keep a look out for the cases,” he said.

The total number of reported cases for this year until last week was 36,514 with 78 deaths compared with 41,034 and 90 deaths last year.

Dr Hasan said if the public did not take the necessary action to remove aedes breeding sites, the number of cases could double next month.

Explaning that the drastic increase in dengue cases was due to the rainy season, he said: “Despite our awareness programme, the response from the public has not been encouraging.”

Speaking at a dialogue session on 1Malaysia Fight Against Dengue yesterday, Dr Hasan said the ministry had carried out surveys and found that people were aware of where and how aedes breeds in the house and outside but most of them neglected to check on those areas.

“They tend to think that it’s the Government’s responsibility, but we need cooperation from the people,” he said.

In the last three months, Sarawak recorded the highest number of increase with 331 cases last week, making it a total of 2,847 cases this year.

In total, Selangor recorded the highest number of cases in the country at 16,984.

Dr Hasan said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also placed the country on avian influenza alert following some reported cases in neighbouring countries.

There were no cases recorded in Malaysia and the Veterinary Services Department was monitoring the situation throughout the country while the ministry exchanged information with other countries in Asean as well as with the WHO.

Universiti Malaya medical microbiology department professor Dr S. Shamala Devi, who also spoke at the dialogue, said that people might get both Influenza A(H1N1) and avian influenza at the same time if their immune system was weakened.

In Kota Kinabalu, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said there were 199 cholera cases as of yesterday in the two affected states – Terengganu (185) and Kelantan (14).

She said health officials were now using different antibiotics to treat patients following the detection of a new strain of cholera in Thailand.

“The two states are close to Thailand. We believe that it is due to water contamination,” she said, adding that the 17 cholera cases detected in Sabah earlier this month was due to the “usual” strain found in the country.

Rosnah said that the cholera patients in Terengganu and Kelantan were not from relief centres but other areas.

“Our officers are closely monitoring the health situation at the flood relief centres,” she said.

The first case of cholera was detected in Terengganu earlier this month.

One person has died from it.