We’re Visiting … Laos?

New national coach Bernd Stange will want his Lions – my, our Lions – to pick up their second consecutive win today in Laos. It is just a friendly, but is quite a remarkable occasion. Why? Continue reading

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Just about 6 months in!

Oops, I let the dust gather here again. It’s time for another brief update….

I’m still settling into my new job at the HLT department in I²R – the Institute for Infocomm Research. Doing exciting things every day and getting glimpses into the future is par for the course here. Helping to set up a conference, exploring speech-recognition technologies, thinking about its possible applications and diving into heaps and heaps of source code… I’m learning more and more each day!

Football is never far from my mind, of course, and I try as always to integrate the diverse threads of my interests into a colourful and useful tapestry reflecting Singapore’s vibrant nature.. who knows what it will take or if I will succeed.

Roll on, 2013!

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Happy New Year!

Yes, it’s almost two weeks in. But 2013 is still fairly new, and there is plenty more of it to go. Just over 50 of 52 weeks, to be sure. What’s up next for me?

A lot of it has to do with the fact that the world didn’t end three weeks ago as we all feared(hoped). OK, seriously, it’s the whole new year, new hope thing. I’m excited to see these things take shape… it’s amazing how much weight we put on a new calendar.

(Also, I can’t wait to visit my friends back in Winterland.)

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Thrilla in Manila: Philippines v Singapore

The semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup are upon us! Can we get a good result a against a team who have beaten us in two consecutive matches and not allowed us a goal?
Continue reading

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Wireless@SGx and NetworkManager

I’m using Debian Squeeze and NetworkManager 0.8.1. It works fine, contrary to earlier claims so it is definitely worth testing. It’s a very simple configuration process.

  1. Right-click the applet in your system tray.
  2. Select Edit Connections…
  3. Add a new network, call it Wireless@SGx if you like.
  4. In the Wireless Security tab, select WPA & WPA2 Enterprise.
  5. Enter your username and password. The dialog should look like this:
    Simple enough? No problems so far.
  6. Click Apply and close the dialog. Continue reading
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Spot The Difference

EDIT: As expected, I didn’t receive any comments. No big deal, I’m still working on getting eyeballs 🙂

So, do look at the pictures below. What is your impression of the web presence (and perhaps the priorities) of the FAS or the AIFF? Here are my reactions to the sites…

First, the registered domains. The All-India Football Federation has the-aiff.com, implying they are either a commercial entity or did not want to register themselves as an organisation. .org.in would have been the better choice here, but I guess that would have been more expensive or less memorable. I know that’s one of the reasons why I preferred to register icedwater.com instead of icedwater.per.sg back in 2003. Strangely, I checked on Phoenix Webtech and a .com domain actually costs more than .org.in.  On the other hand, the Football Association of Singapore has done the right thing here with fas.org.sg which tells us they are not a commercial identity. But that is a technicality, so let’s move on.

Continue reading

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Sparks upbeat in defeat

Despite going down 2-0 in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semi-final on Thursday evening, ten-man Loyola Meralco Sparks impressed on the pitch and never really looked out of the contest against reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers at Clementi Stadium.

In the press conference the following morning at their quarters in the Albert Court Village Hotel, players and coaches alike gave credit to the 1,328-strong crowd, with its vocal Filipino segment dominating the stands. Continue reading

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[Voices] Support existing talent for a long-term boost

EDIT: View the published version. Thanks Today for keeping it pretty much intact.

(I sent the below letter in yesterday after reading Shamir’s report about marquee players. Sorry Shamir, I wasn’t sure about convention for quoting names.)

I read with considerable concern Shamir Osman’s report that S.League clubs might be signing marquee players next season. I concur with Mr. Terence Kua that this is a short-term solution and feel that more should be invested in development and support of our existing talent.

Concerns about ego and fitness notwithstanding, I believe marquee players have a proposed budget which could be better allocated to developing club training and playing facilities. We would be able to better support our local players and take a small step towards building our own football future. For example, the signing fee of S$360,000 alone could be used to raise 20 Prime League players’ monthly wages by S$1,500 for a year or even S$500 for a period of 3 years.

Tampines coach Tay Peng Kee is of the opinion that big-name attacking talent will help to draw the crowds. While this is to some extent true, if a Niklas Bendtner or Park Ji-Sung could be drawn here, the lack of adequate support from the rest of the squad would dull their promise significantly. Football, after all, is a team sport.

The current five-way S.League title race features Harimau Muda and Albirex Niigata (S), development squads which do not have any players who qualify for the tag of marquee player. Yet they are as competitive, if not more, than stalwarts like SAFFC and Home United. This suggests we should focus on development.

If we build a good youth system, family and friends will be more receptive to the idea of a footballing career, and fan numbers will grow organically as people develop interest in the players on the pitch.

Let us not forsake long-term growth for the illusion of short-term improvement.

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Learning Git and jQuery

The second part of the NUSHackers hackerschool workshop series was a 3-hour episode on jQuery and git led by Michael Yong, with a little teaser on the importance of using github at the end by Cedric.

After installing and setting up git on Windows and Mac (I already had mine from the Osna days) there was a little bit of tinkering with jQuery when we learned how to make things disappear and reappear.

Then we made revisions to the code which we put up on local git repos, and created github accounts so that we could push our stuff there.

All very interesting, and of course there were some more experienced users in the session wanted to know about merging conflicts and the like. This wasn’t covered till near the end, but I think it was fine since it would really have been too much for git newbies to take in in one day.

Good thing the material was stored online for future reference.

Cedric popped in at the end to add that github was used by software companies as a resumé supplement, to gauge a developer’s worth before hiring, so getting used to github would be a good idea. The practice is commonplace in Silicon Valley, but only just gaining ground here in Singapore, apparently.

All in all, the series was a comfortable introduction to these basic tools and I do hope people will come back for future episodes of hackerschool.

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Learning about HTML5 and CSS3

Here I am at the HTML5/CSS3 workshop conducted as part of the @nushackers hackerschool series. It’s good to see a large turnout – about 30 students – led by @ejames_c through the creation of a simple website and getting a brief idea of the intricacies involved in web design (browser-exclusive tags, properties, inspectors).

Even better: he’s recommending resources like Sublime Text 2, 0to255 and the CSS3 box-shadow-generator which weren’t around in my time 😛 And the whole session is recorded for upload onto YouTube so you get to revise it if you need to.

Great job, Hackers. Keep on hacking!

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