Facebook Quizzes

20 12 2009

So we all know Facebook has all these awesome fun quizzes you can do when your boss finally got his head out of your cubicle. These quizzes may be created by some commercial organization or just some random user that was bored out of his mind.

I don’t really bother doing quizzes with slipshod options cause you know that your results are gonna be “you r ugly! u hav no frens n u eat lunch alone!” after you spent all that time doing that quiz.

The quizzes that really cheese me off the most though, are those that make you pay for your results. I recently tried doing this IQ quiz and I spent a LOT of time carefully figuring out the answers (even more so than during graded exams). I mean you don’t want to publish cabbage IQ results, do you?

Anyway, when I finally got to the last question, brain hurting, I impatiently submitted my results. To my shock and HORROR, it directed me to a page with a cartoon guy cheerily asking me for my phone number so that he could text me my results. Of course, there was minuscule font at the bottom of the page so that they could go “HAH! YOU OWE US 1 MILLION BUCKS FOR EACH SMS WE SENT YOU!”

With the rise of Facebook and other social networking tools and the accessories like quizzes and games that come with them, many opportunistic commercial companies are taking advantage of this pool of social networking junkies to generate profit for themselves. Like in my case of the IQ quiz, all they needed to do was create a quiz and link the page to an external website for them to capture your data and charge you a fee for providing an inaccurate estimate of your intelligence.

Try this Relationship Psychology Quiz. You’ll have to have a Facebook account to do it but I really like it because you get to actually KEY IN your answers rather than just checking option boxes.

Just like every other society around, there are opportunists everywhere. You’d think that they’d actually use more convincing methods though. Anyway, just don’t trust animated cartoon .gif guys.





Lemme Facebook You

9 12 2009

With the avid rise of social media and technology, we are uploading bigger and bigger pieces of information about ourselves online. We all know that we have to be careful about what we say and do online because it could potentially jeopardize our careers and future opportunities yada yada yada. We also know that more corporations are beginning to google their future employees to see if they would be a good fit with the company.

Also with social networking sites like Facebook, your whole life story is plastered across that big screen and people that have stuck their noses into your life get to say something about you too. With so much information about yourself available and MORE, should we be cowering in our pants? Should we be PARANOID about what we put up about ourselves?

I think the presence of these fears and insecurities are essential to developing our society as a whole. In an ideal world, everyone should be open and aboveboard, no skeletons in the closet, what you see is what you get. The Internet takes these skeletons and spreads the bones ACROSS THE GLOBE. The internet sphere keeps no secrets.

This contributes to our society being one that is transparent and accepting. If someone is comfortable with posting objectionable content, it speaks volumes about their character and in my opinion, is actually pretty impressive. Everyone has their own set of moral values which makes us unique individuals. Not everyone can get along but honesty and transparency is best. Right? RIGHT???

Anyway, this transparency also encourages an honest society. If you’re worried about stuff about you that’s posted on the Internet, you should really think about what is going on in your real life. Maybe if you didn’t do so much weird stuff during the day, you wouldn’t have to worry about someone uploading negative content against you and have your job busted.

The world is changing. People are becoming more liberal yet informed because of the Internet. But if there is one piece of advice that I can give you on this issue, it would be:

DON’T TAKE NAKED PICS.





Facebook Games Rehab Anyone?

26 11 2009

Restaurant City, Pet Society, Cafe World, Farmville… The list goes ON. If you don’t already know, these are games on social networking site, Facebook. These flash games are all kinda the same though, visit your friends for money or items to make your house or restaurant look a little more fancy. The strangest thing is that they are really addictive.

So addictive that a buncha NUH nurses were caught playing Farmville at work just last October and were “disciplined”. This actually happened cause some Stomper posted up pictorial evidence of them milking pixel cows or something on STOMP. You know that website where “you generate the content, you write the reports” blahblahblah? Yeah.

“This is so unprofessional. Instead of attending to the patients, they were playing computer games.”
-Stomper Keny (You’re one to talk, Keny.)

You can read the full story here

In the nurses’ defense, Facebook is really smart, oh yes it is. Manipulating our highly trained professionals that we call our nurses like puppets on strings. I mean, they KNOW that work can get boring especially at a desk which is why they make these Flash based games. Perfect for you if your workplace bans websites and Facebook is one of the only pages that you go to when your supervisor isn’t looking.

I mean these games aren’t exactly genius or the best fun in the WURLD. They don’t have Ratchet and Clank graphics or the coolness factor of Rock Band. It’s kinda silly actually, but put mundane and LESS mundane together, what do you get? Before you know it, you’ll be addicted to farming virtual crops too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to cooking my pixel pancakes now.





Barcamp Singapore; Redefining Learning

21 11 2009

Barcamp Singapore was held at Suntec City Tower 3 just today. The location was generously sponsored by the IDA. Registrations began at 9 in the morning and the crowd comprised of the tech savvy, year 2 and year 3 students from SP’s Media and Communication and people well-versed in other areas of study. We all had something in common though, we all wanted to learn something from Barcamp.

What on EARTH is this Barcamp?

“BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants who are the main actors of the event.”
-Ripped off the official Barcamp website barcamp.org (they explain it best)

From America to Tokyo, Barcamp is held in countries all over the world where learning is made open and interactive. Different rooms are allocated different topics at different times and people are allowed to propose topics to discuss and vote for the topics they want to know more about.

I attended four discussions today:

1. “Learn how to draw by using both sides of the brain” – JF Koh

JF explained that our society is one that values left brainers, the logic-centered, rational individual rather than the gifted right brainer, which is why most of us exercise our left brains before the right.

He taught us how to isolate the left brain and with drawing activities, showed us how our right and left brains come into play when we draw. Use of the left brain connects drawings to words and meanings. So when you draw with the left brain, you usually only draw the main details and what is most obvious. For example, drawing just a silhouette of a normal hand.

However, when drawing with the right brain, you pay attention to the visuals, so using the hand example, you would draw not only the BIG picture of a hand, you would draw the details that you observe visually, like the knuckles and nails too.

Also, music exercises both the left and the right brain because of the combination of words and abstract sounds made by instruments.

2. Spiciest , Hottest most evil food – Nitin Pai

According to the Scoville scale, the bhut jolokia and the habanero are currently the spiciest chillies found. The speaker also shared with us some of his favourite recipes. A really good talk to have, especially with some of the Barcamp guests traveling the Asia region.

3. For smart geeks: how to explain difficult concepts to lesser beings – coleman

This was one of my favourite sessions because I AM a lesser being. Coleman used a very nice example of the MRT’s no eating AND drinking rule to explain the AND and OR operator theories.

His golden rules to simplification are just to use analogies and to oversimplify. If you want to take a look at his slides, you can visit his website at www.metacole.com.

4. (Tech) Tools to Personal Effectiveness (aka how to be more BAD ASS) – James Norris

James gave us tips on how to be effective at reaching our personal goals and get things done. From his to-do list to his happiness ratings, he has graphs and charts for everything. You can access his personal development kit on his website at www.jnorris.org

I love how Barcamp provides a channel for people to broaden their knowledge. The people there were truly eager to learn, exchanging ideas with each other all the time. They were always encouraging toward the speakers and open to new concepts.

Always remember, no question is a dumb question.





Globalization, HURRAY

18 11 2009

Globalization is the integration of the economies, cultures and societies from countries and regions across the globe. Technology is one of the largest driving forces in globalization. For the record, I am an avid supporter of globalization. I am amazed by how globalization can affect our personalities and societies. I do believe that every single one of us are products are globalization.

Disagree with me? Do you surf foreign websites? Do you watch American Idol and Taiwanese dramas? All of us practice culture borrowing. I could never understand or agree when people tell me to “be like your culture”. I am convinced that we should define ourselves as individuals and not by our culture, country or race. Why should where you come from matter? Your “typical Singaporean” probably has some qualities of typicality because of upbringing and habit but there is so much more that goes into a person.

Most humans in the past used to live in a box. They stayed confined in their societies and have to conform to fit in because they had no chance or technology to explore other cultures. We used to think that different countries were populated with only specific races and that Singapore was amazing for racial cohesion. However, more and more people are beginning to immigrate and settle down in countries that they identify more with.

In the future, I foresee countries being almost evenly populated by different races because of travel accessibility and the rise in technological communication between different cultures. I don’t think racism will entirely cease to exist, but that’s for another time.





Evil Alter Egos

11 11 2009

Remember the good ol’ days where chatting on the Internet meant that you were chumming it up with some 62/M/Timbuktu in a seedy chat room? When going on IRC meant that you were gonna get rapereddeded?

Computers have come such a long way. They are now much more than mere information providers. They are social machines. Machines that enable you to express your opinions, share your experiences and interact with people all over the world.

I like the term “social machines” because too many people undermine the Internet. With this new term, people that used to think that what goes on online does not apply to real life now treat online interaction more seriously.

I’ve always found the whole “the Internet isn’t real” thing kinda ironic. We put up facades in our everyday lives as we are afraid of the REAL LIFE consequences. Then we go home and rant the hell outta our blog posts and twitter messages with every fiber of our being. Isn’t what goes on online more honest than our real lives in this instance?

You may think that you can go onto chatrooms to chat up some little 14 year old tweenies without anyone knowing, and you are right. It is difficult for people to find out (although not completely impossible) if you cover your tracks very well. You may think it doesn’t matter because it’s JUST the Internet. Well hey, you may be a sex predator online but you definitely are a horny pervert in real life. That’s what I mean when I say the Internet is a reflection of our real lives.

Of course, some things you can only do in real life, like giving someone a hug or seeing them smile up close. However, our REAL thoughts and feelings contribute to everything we say and do online. Sometimes, the things we say on the Internet are even more honest than we would dare to be in reality.





How Do I Love Skype? Let Me Count the Ways

6 11 2009

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) refers to the technologies used for transmitting voice communications over the Internet. Skype is a VOIP. If that isn’t good enough, this frickin amazing programme allows you both audio AND video transmissions over the Internet. Now, it even allows you to screen share. It means exactly what it says, you can share your screen with with the person you’re calling.


Ripped off funnycollection.org

From a more human and emotional standpoint, this little technology not only changed the way we communicate, it changed our lives.

In the past, when someone was leaving for a really faraway place, this is how their conversation would be:

“I have to go now, goodbye.”
“Bye! I’ll write you lots of letters!”
“I’ll be waiting for those letters.”

Now:

“I have to go now, goodbye.”
“Bye! I’ll see you online!”
“Yeah, see you on Skype.”

Long gone are the days where leaving was immensely sad and people waited all forlorn for letters and parcels to arrive (okay actually, it’s still that way with parcels). Relationships that would have long faded away are now sustained with Skype.

The main premise behind Skype is that it allows you to connect with someone with an Internet connection anywhere across the world in real time. You know exactly what the people you care about are doing, you can listen to their voices and see their faces up close. It’s like having that person right there except with a glossy screen in between. The lack of physical contact is kind of sad actually, but with such amazing technology, how can we complain?

Because Skype has helped me so much, I’m gonna help spread their links. If you want the new version of skype with screen sharing, download it here. Skype creators, if you’re out there and reading this, you’ve lessened many a heartache.

And please don’t make us pay for Internet video calls when Skype gets massive.