Those who have used Nokia’s OVI Maps would miss the turn by turn navigation offered in a smart phone.

My current build is a Samsung Galaxy S running Ice Cream Sandwich built by onecosmic.

First, make sure to root your phone. It makes many things easier in Android. Depending on your device, a quick search would show you how to root it.

Next, go to this link.

Download the “maps6.1.1-ownhere-SignFile.apk” and copy it to your phone. Then follow these instructions.

1. In Titanium Backup, select Maps and make a backup. (this is for safety)
2. Select Maps and wipe data, then uninstall.
3. Select Street View and wipe data, then uninstall
4. Install Google Maps6.1.1-ownhere-SignFile.apk
5. Go to market, and reinstall street view
6. Make sure to uncheck automatic updating on Market.

There’s also the non-root version on the same link but I have not tried it hence will not be able to advise you.

When I got my Galaxy S, it was slightly more expensive than the iPhone 4 at the point in time but less than 1.5years later, Samsung said it would no longer support ICS on my GalaxyS.

I was pissed at Samsung for dropping such a great product. The official line is that it is not possible to support TouchWiz (Samsung’s own UI) on top of ICS. So? We would like the vanilla version please.

Thankfully, the good guys known as onecosmic and team has developed a version for us. To be honest, it is ridiculously simple to set up. The Galaxy S is now blazing fast, much faster than it was on GB.

The simplified steps are:

1. “Root” your phone. [link]
2. Download Titanium Backup and copy everything out into somewhere else just in case. [link]
3. Remove microSD card to prevent confusion of internal memory.
4. Copy the set up file into your Galaxy S. [instructions more suitable for experienced people here] [step by step instructions available here for those who need more guidance]
5. Reboot into ClockworkMod (Press the Volume-Up, Centre Button and Power Button at the same time)
6. Select file and you are done! (as long as there is no screw up)

These are the simplified steps but I have attached links to make it easier along the way. I am by no means a techie just someone who can follow instructions very well. Good luck to you!

Also, I recommend donating a small sum to the great guys! RC3.1 (RC stands for release candidate) is extremely stable for me!

Longest title I had in a long while.

I’m heading to Shanghai, China on February 16th and I can say I am more or less done.

When I started, information was spotty and hard to find. When they are found, they are not clear.

I want to put up information and also a place for people to ask questions if they are unsure. Rather than bore you with the troubles I took before I got the final answer, I will just let you know what to do.

1. Language Proficiency – HSK Test

The official line I received from Fudan University was that regardless of your A or O Level results, they require you to take the HSK Level 6 test. It is a written test. There is also a Oral Test but this is not needed.

However, even before we received the test results from the HSK Test, I received my acceptance letter stating I’m accepting to read modules conducted in Chinese. Seriously, wtf?

So if you are willing to wing it, don’t need to take HSK.

2. Inability to take Modules

For Fudan, their system does not really allow you to take modules beyond their (2011) year. This means you are effectively being treated like Year 1 students, which is pointless because it means you won’t learn anything useful. Email the China people and tell them your problems, they usually can manually add it in from you on their side.

3. VISA

For those wanting to visit the beautiful land of smooth skin Taiwan or try their luck gambling in Macau, you can’t! The visa you can apply for is only the f-visa, because your period of stay is less than 6 months. Hence, they can’t grant you the x-visa even if you begged them earnestly.

But the best you can do is to apply for the 2-entry f-visa. This visa allows you to enter China twice with the maximum length each time being 90 days. So you could go on one trip outside mainland China if you make sure you are able to leave within 90days.

Don’t bother applying for VISA within China, I read the rates if success is very low.

Also, this means you do not need the medical report from SGH or Raffles Hospital. It cost me $230 for nothing.

 

4…. to be updated if more questions come in.

It is a shame that while The Straits Times is suing Yahoo! News for copyright infringement, it does not conduct proper citation or image attribution in its very own backyard.

You don’t need your attorney to advise you it is not acceptable to cite from a search engine.

At the very least, throw some mock up images from the PR company that serves the SAF.

I’m sure they worked very hard to try to get this piece of information in the news.

 

I love fitness. I like how it makes me feel in control of my body and prepared at all times. That’s why I take part in a variety of sports which challenges me differently.

It can be upper body specific like rock climbing or balance specific like slacklining or weights based like compound barbell movements and kettlebells or aerobic training like running or swimming. I also like Strongman-style training. I mix and match my own types of training without getting too specialized because I am not a competitive athlete where specificity would matter.

It is also part of the reason I picked up a CrossFit Level 1 Certification is also to understand what it means to be non-specific in training.

If I choose to enter the fitness industry, it would be to help people who have lost their way and would like a helping hand to get back on track. Fitness for civilians is not rocket science. To fight for Olympic glory is one matter, but to lose weight is a simple matter of tweaking your diet towards natural non-processed foods and ensuring you are exercising correctly.

Photo sent to me by Mehdi of Stronglifts.com

For example, look at a child who squats naturally, the lumbar is neutral and strong, the buttocks easily touch the ground and the weight is on the heels etc. Everyone is born with an ability to squat with proper posture, but over the years of sedentary lifestyle, many have lost their ability to do so due to lack of strength or hip flexibility.

Every day, there are new tools put out in the media shouting in your face to try it for an “easier” way. Barbells, calisthenics and a lil bit of cardio works. By tools, I mean stupid equipment like the Shake Weight, T-Core or ViPR. If you do not have space for a rack, kettlebells are a superb alternative.

There is no perfect tool or nutrition plan for everyone. It is about being observant to your own body. How do you feel 2 hours post-meal? How long do you feel your delayed onset muscle syndrome for? What is your body fat content over a period of time? What is the circumference of your thighs/arms in comparison to last month? In this aspect, though any person could self-monitor, a personal trainer comes in to keep track of progress.

Yet, being “friends” with many fitness people on Facebook, I cannot help but grimace at the politics present in an inherently “positive” industry. The office and business world is full of politics, but fitness is supposed to be a place to build good karma, help people, earn a decent income and be contented about it. Instead, I see trainers belittling others in an indirect manner. Seriously, what gives?

If you are the best in the industry, there is no need to be a keyboard warrior. Prove it with results through your clients or on the platform, field, court, pool, wall or line.

Life is short, enjoy the ride while it lasts. Play nice, live long and prosper.

Omelette stuffed with plain tuna and chicken breast.

Other than the obvious benefits of healthier food, more protein in my diet at half the price and the much more sane use of salt and spices, there’s a more important reason for waking up every morning to prepare my own meals.

It is much simpler to enjoy an hour more of sleep instead of waking up earlier to cook up meals. It is hard work and takes discipline every single time.

The mere act of doing so gives me a sense of empowerment that I am starting my day right. There is a psychological boost that comparatively, I am already doing better than others who are still sleeping.

Start your morning by doing something meaningful, it gives your life a sense of purpose.

Sharing my COM207 notes here. So far, this is for mid-terms 2011/2012. Will add in more gradually.

Disclaimer: Use at own risk, will not be held responsible for any mistakes though I did try my best to stick to the materials but sometimes I referred online for more concrete examples.

First of all, thanks to Junjie for his granting permission for me to based mine on his notes. Mine is a reedited version with some added details of his notes found here.

Map of Human Relations

One problem I found with the course is that there were too many Caucasian names which were really hard to visualize. Hence I came out with a map which helps connect the human relations till William Schramm. Click on it for the bigger version.

Notes (thus far)

1. Charles Darwin

2. Karl Marx

3. Sigmund Freud

4. Harold Lasswell and Walter Lippmann

 

Disclaimer: Fruits are “healthier” compared to soft drinks, sugared water, cordial, potato chips, high sugar chocolate bars etc. In absolute terms, this is meaningless. It is like saying a Lexus saves more petrol than a BMW. The difference is negligible. 

Our Biological Roots

Firstly, plants have simple mechanisms for fertilization and spreading of seeds. Through years of being used as a food source by other organisms, the plants with the most attractive pollen or fruits will tend to be more populous.

For example, plants that do not have sweet nectar would not be fed on by insects or birds hence reducing their fertilization rate which leads to lesser fruits and eventual extinction. Fruits that are bitter may not be favoured by animals and hence their seeds will not be spread as quickly.

Unlike what we learn in school, plants do not have the incentive to become as sweet as possible but this outcome is guided by the diet of other organisms. Plants that are sweeter spread faster.

Thousands of years ago, what our ancestors ate are technically fruits, but definitely not as sweet as what we have now. This means our bodies may be ill-disposed to handle modern sweet fruits. Read more…

That’s roughly how he looked to me too. Photo taken from here.

Seems like I’m on a roll. I recently managed to do an interview with a #1 US Fencer and now I got to listen to Patrick Collister for 2 hours. This was ’cause my lecturer at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information Tim Clark managed to invite his old friend.

Patrick is the former Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy Benson & Mather Europe. He currently runs his own website and a magazine “Directory” which is a quarterly magazine focusing on the best direct marketing in the world. It is beautifully constructed (premium art paper, accurate colour reproduction and the works) thus you can almost feel the painstaking love it took to curate it.

Needless to say, quality demands accurate pricing. The quarterly issues costs £600 per year to subscribe. That makes it SGD$300 an issue. It’s impossible for a student like me to afford! Thankfully, something good happens for me at the end. For students, I highly recommend you subscribe to the e-newsletter. Read more…

By random chance, I got to talk to a guy who used to be US #1 Fencer. He said his name was Stan and he was here to teach fencing because a banker paid him to train his daughter. He also conducts lessons at Turf City. I did not ask his name or credentials further as it seemed impolite. His dad is also the former #1 in the US for fencing, hence he came from a background in the sport.

Prior to this conversation, I had zero interest in fencing and hence had no meaningful question to ask him regarding fencing techniques or the particular “Mecca” of his sport, or what makes a meaningful life in fencing.

However, I was really interested in world-class athlete’s training and how their lifestyle is. Hearing it first hand made it even concrete for me. That said, the information is completely his experience though there are many points I agree with.

  1. 6am – Wake up
  2. 7am – 1 hour of fencing
  3. 8am – 45 mins of Running on the beach without shoes
  4. 845am – 45mins of fencing footwork on sand
  5. 930am – Head back home, cook breakfast for himself, coach and dad

    His breakfast is 6 egg whites, 2 slabs of chicken breast, whole wheat toast, 1 litre of water

    He says he finishes 4 – 5 bottles of 1.5L of water a day. He says the human body is based by evolution to hoard and value water. If lesser water is drunk, it is telling the body nature is lacking in water hence the heart pumps lesser blood to conserve water. By drinking more water, the heart sends more blood to the muscles and hence performance is naturally increased. He tricks his body into better performance  by drinking a lot more water than necessary.

  6. Rest till 12pm
  7. 12pm – 1 hour fencing practice
  8. 1pm – Lunch

    Note: His diet has 7,000 to 8000 calories a day. This is nothing new. All elite athletes easily burn this amount a day. The idea is to keep his body in a constant anabolic state (where it is repairing muscle) rather than catabolic state (where it is breaking down muscle to repair other muscles) so constant intake of food during waking hours is necessary. He also drinks protein shakes regularly.

    However the danger is prescribing this constant food intake for a normal office worker who is a sports enthusiast. The nutritional needs of an elite athlete and civilians are different.

  9. Rest 2 hours

    Rest refers to the body is a completely relaxed state. This means you can be reading or thinking. He discourages watching tv or videos of non-related material because it means your body is not really resting. The best activity during rest is to sleep.

    I liked how he said he was completely comfortable being alone. He can always be thinking to himself or enjoy doing nothing. Purposefully being free is one of the highest states of self-control.

    He shared the example of his friend being over at his apartment and his television was spoilt. He noticed his friend could not do anything without the TV, his friend was fidgety, moving things and was just plain uncomfortable. It is like we are so conditioned to be constantly entertained in this world that when we have to use our own brain to entertain ourselves, we are no longer able to do it.

  10. 4pm – Footwork practice
  11. 8pm – Cross Training at the Gym or Tennis (1 hour)
  12. 930pm – 1030pm: Sleep

    One good anecdote he shares is books put him to sleep quickly, hence he tends to read before bed. This goes in line with good sleep habits – removing bright light sources and relaxing just before bed time.Before sleep, he takes a bottle of Casein. Casein is slow digesting protein. A natural alternative is cottage cheese.

    During sleep, he naturally wakes up twice during the night to pee and drink more water. This is how he keeps his body hydrated during the night.

 

He also says if he could only recommend 1 book, he recommends Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This is also a book I recommended. You can buy it from Amazon or Book Depository. Among the concepts in the book is the topic of “deliberate practice” and 10,000 hours, both that I agree with truly. It also discovers the secrets to success in some fields or industries. Definitely a good read.

On a similar note, Talent is Overrated explains deliberate practice in greater detail.

He also talks about the lack of distractions in his lifestyle. His house had no television and very little access to internet. To perform optimally as a student and athlete for him, his social life suffered. Personally, this was my experience when I was in NTU Year 1. I had to manage a business while studying. I managed both well but my social life suffered.

He said that all the good coaches from Europe (particularly Ukraine) are now heading to USA and China because of better pay or opportunities. This seems to mirror the intellectual shift in the 1930s during the rise of Hitler and National Socialist Party in Germany. This being the case, it is no wonder USA is overtaking Europe in Olympic medals. Where the top brains go, achievements and accolades for their host countries follows.

Finally, he recommended the website of Alex Ariza, the trainer of Manny Pacquial. He followed the diet closely and his physique immediately saw improvement. I found it interesting how a world class athlete could also see improvement from another’s blog posts. This is the power of the Internet.