Friday, February 23, 2007

Book Review 1: Why we want you to be Rich by Donald Trump and Robert T Kiyosaki

A joint effort by two financial and investing gurus! The books start off with a very impactful and ivniting start but tapers off towards the end. By the time, I was at chapter 5, I was a little bored and can't wait to stop reading.

A book that offers both perspective in many issues and poverty. A central line to the book is that the middle class is vanishing, with corresponding increases in the lower and upper classes of society.

Honestly, with much cross references to their other titles, this book comes across much like a last ditch publicity stance to jack up sales of their other books!

Book medal award: 3 medals out of 5 (On a scale of 5, 1 is can forget about it and 5 is very good, must have and die die must read!)

BooK Review 4: Seals by Jack Terral

Ok, this books talks about the SEALS who went on a mission to uncover a Saudi Prince funded band of terrorists cum profiteers. The whole book glorifies the superior capability of the US SEALS and their technology with the usual branch of good guys going after the bad.

Read about some romance between 2 officers in the book too

Not worth a read. a 2 medal book.

Book Review 3: Raptor Force By Bill Yenne

In this fiction title, the US president formed a motley group of man to go after a band of Islamic extremist after suffering a major first attack on US soil. Similar to 911, a plane flew traight into a Denever Skyscraper and killed tonnes of people. Without the formal authorisation of the United Nations, read how the USA comes about forming this motley group of loners, misfits and forgottens to bring about vengenace. The book brings into the picture the binding powers of treaties, the corruptible nature of man and also the "I have it but don't treasure it mentality of man".

Overall, this book is a simple read, at least to my taste, not thrilling enough to make me read it day and night. On a scale of 5 medals (with 1 being forget about it and 5 being must read, then this is a 2 medals book to me:)

Book Review 2:Handbook for Stock Investors by Goh Kheng Chuan

A good book to grab if you are just starting out to further diversify the use of your available money. Handy (not those thick thick Fundamental Analysis) type of book, this book provides both the season and beginner witht he baby steps to investing. Range of topics goes from opening a CDP account, how to choose good stocks, investment timing and also Technical analysis. Definitely a good book to read in simple English.

On a scale of 5 medals, this book deserves a 4 for its simplicity in bringing about concepts and I would say have definitely achieve the objective of making the investing game easier for the reader.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Education Series 1:Internet Fraud

Be Aware and Be Smart...

What Are the Major Types of Internet Fraud?
In general, the same types of fraud schemes that have victimized consumers and investors for many years before the creation of the Internet are now appearing online (sometimes with particular refinements that are unique to Internet technology). With the explosive growth of the Internet, and e-commerce in particular, online criminals try to present fraudulent schemes in ways that look, as much as possible, like the goods and services that the vast majority of legitimate e-commerce merchants offer. In the process, they not only cause harm to consumers and investors, but also undermine consumer confidence in legitimate e-commerce and the Internet.

Here are some of the major types of Internet fraud that law enforcement and regulatory authorities and consumer organizations are seeing:

Auction and Retail Schemes Online.
According to the
Federal Trade Commission and Internet Fraud Watch, fraudulent schemes appearing on online auction sites are the most frequently reported form of Internet fraud. These schemes, and similar schemes for online retail goods, typically purport to offer high-value items - ranging from Cartier® watches to computers to collectibles such as Beanie Babies® - that are likely to attract many consumers. These schemes induce their victims to send money for the promised items, but then deliver nothing or only an item far less valuable than what was promised (e.g., counterfeit or altered goods).

Business Opportunity/"Work-at-Home" Schemes Online.
Fraudulent schemes often use the Internet to advertise purported business opportunities that will allow individuals to earn thousands of dollars a month in "work-at-home" ventures. These schemes typically require the individuals to pay anywhere from $35 to several hundred dollars or more, but fail to deliver the materials or information that would be needed to make the work-at-home opportunity a potentially viable business.

Identity Theft and Fraud.
Some Internet fraud schemes also involve identity theft - the wrongful obtaining and using of someone else's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. In one federal prosecution, the defendants allegedly obtained the names and Social Security numbers of U.S. military officers from a Web site, then used more than 100 of those names and numbers to apply via the Internet for credit cards with a Delaware bank.

In another federal prosecution, the defendant allegedly obtained personal data from a federal agency's Web site, then used the personal data to submit 14 car loan applications online to a Florida bank.

Investment Schemes Online
Market Manipulation Schemes. Enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission and criminal prosecutions indicate that criminals are using two basic methods for trying to manipulate securities markets for their personal profit. First, in so-called "pump-and-dump" schemes, they typically disseminate false and fraudulent information in an effort to cause dramatic price increases in thinly traded stocks or stocks of shell companies (the "pump"), then immediately sell off their holdings of those stocks (the "dump") to realize substantial profits before the stock price falls back to its usual low level. Any other buyers of the stock who are unaware of the falsity of the information become victims of the scheme once the price falls.

For example, in one federal prosecution in Los Angeles, the defendants allegedly purchased, directly and through another man, a total of 130,000 shares in a bankrupt company, NEI Webworld, Inc., whose assets had been liquidated several months earlier. The defendants then allegedly posted bogus e-mail messages on hundreds of Internet bulletin boards, falsely stating that NEI Webworld was going to be taken over by a wireless telecommunications company. At the time of the defendants' alleged purchases of NEI Webworld stock, the stock was priced between 9 cents and 13 cents a share. Ultimately, in a single morning of trading, NEI Webworld stock rose in 45 minutes from $8 per share to a high of $15 5/16, before falling, within a half-hour, to 25 cents per share. The defendants allegedly realized profits of $362,625.

In another
federal prosecution in Los Angeles, a man who worked for a California company, PairGain Technologies, created a bogus Bloomberg news Web site which falsely reported that PairGain was about to be acquired by an Israeli company, and posted fraudulent e-mail messages, containing links to the counterfeit Bloomberg news site, on financial news bulletin boards. On the day that the bogus report was posted on the Internet, PairGain stock rose approximately 30 percent before PairGain issued its own press release stating that the report was false. Second, in short-selling or "scalping" schemes, the scheme takes a similar approach, by disseminating false or fraudulent information in an effort to cause price decreases in a particular company's stock.

For example, in one recent federal prosecution, a man who described himself as a "day trader" allegedly posted (more than 20 times) a bogus press release falsely stating that a major telecommunications- and Internet-related company, Lucent Technologies, Inc., would not meet its quarterly earnings estimates. The day trader allegedly traded approximately 6,000 shares of Lucent stock the same day that he posted the bogus press release. The false reports allegedly drove the stock's price down 3.6 percent and reduced Lucent's market value by more than $7 billion.

Other Investment Schemes Other types of fraudulent investment schemes may combine uses of the Internet with traditional mass-marketing technology such as
telemarketing to reach large numbers of potential victims. In a federal prosecution in San Diego, a major fraudulent scheme used the Internet and telemarketing to solicit prospective investors for so-called "general partnerships" involving purported "high-tech" investments, such as an Internet shopping mall and Internet access providers. The scheme allegedly defrauded more than 3,000 victims nationwide of nearly $50 million.

Credit-Card Schemes.
Some Internet fraud schemes, which appear to be variations on the online auction schemes described earlier, involve the use of unlawfully obtained credit card numbers to order goods or services online.

One widely reported and intricate scheme, for example, involves offering consumers high-value consumer items, such as video cameras, at a very attractive price (i.e., below the price set at legitimate e-commerce Web sites). When a potential consumer contacts the "seller," the "seller" promises to ship the consumer the item before the consumer has to pay anything. If the consumer agrees, the "seller" (without the consumer's knowledge) uses that consumer's real name, along with an unlawfully obtained credit card number belonging to another person, to buy the item at a legitimate Web site. Once that Web site ships the item to the consumer, the consumer, believing that the transaction is legitimate, then authorizes his credit card to be billed in favor of the "seller" or sends payment directly to the "seller."
As a result, there are two victims of the scheme: the original e-commerce merchant who shipped the item based on the unlawfully used credit card; and the consumer who sent his money after receiving the item that the "seller" fraudulently ordered from the merchant. In the meantime, the "seller" may have transferred his fraudulent proceeds to bank accounts beyond the effective reach of either the merchant or the consumer.

Other Schemes.
Some Web sites on the Internet have purported to offer those who want a "quick divorce" an opportunity to obtain a divorce in the Dominican Republic or other foreign countries for $1,000 or more, without even having to leave the United States. These sites often contain false, misleading, or legally inaccurate information about the process for obtaining such divorces (e.g., that neither spouse has to visit the country in which the divorce is being sought). Typically, people who have sent money to one of these schemes eventually receive false assurances that they are legally divorced. In fact, victims of the scheme have neither received legitimate legal services nor obtained valid divorces. People who are interested in obtaining a divorce, whether in the United States or elsewhere, should seek a lawyer with whom they can speak personally, and not rely solely on e-mail exchanges or online information.

a reproduction from http://www.internetfraud.usdoj.gov/

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

geez...letter to Forum got rejected...

In their exact words:-

Thank you for writing to us. We do appreciate your making the effort.
We receive up to 70 letters each day. Limited space means we can publish only about a dozen every weekday.
This means having to make often-difficult editorial judgments on which letters to publish.
We regret we are unable to publish your letter this time.

Yours sincerely


So disappointing...want to complain also cannot!!!

Think I would go to LTA next...

Reflections

"Life is ok but just learning to cope with it..." speaks positive volume of the strength of the person who mutters these words.
Just hope that as life goes on, people who seemingly have already no hope continue to look at life in all other ways first before contemplating the ultimate physical end.

Honestly, those words mean alot to me as it causes me to think of the many times when life is not so pleasant and I tend to think negatively (not ending life) but demoralising thoughts.

Thanks to the "I know and she know"who gave me a good reminder.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New Year

At last it is the CNY, this year round, we have 3 days of holidays (Monday- Wednesday) which to many people is a good break from work. Honestly, think for me, more tiring than work with all the need to think of things to entertain the kids and the visiting. Note however, that it was a good time to spend some "extra" time with the kids.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Next Step

Now, that the blog is on the way, next step I guess is to pump in the content and to have the blog listed somehow on the world's major search engines "exchanges". Gosh got to go read up a little on this.
You know what! blogexplosion told me cannot list me yet as I have less than 10 posts and they cannot do proper evaluation, and asks me to try again after I achieved the incredible 10. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Budget 2007

Seems like a good Singapore budget 2007 isn't it?
basically a budget for everyone(be you upper class, middle class, low class...oppps!) , just hope along the line and later in the year, don't take back more than what is given...:)

I think however, the most important is the 2% REDUCTION IN Corporate tax, hopfully this would make business here more competitive and spillover the benefits to common people like me...I hope.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When a cab is not to be....

I used to have some faith in the booking system the local cab companies, but now....
I just shot off the below to ST Forum+ verbal complain to Comfort !!!

World class transport system plus internationally growing company like COMFORT can definitely do better than the below... cheh!


Dear Editor,
I seek your assistance to have the following published....

This morning, I called for a cab via Comfort'S 6552-1111 at 6.53 am and was duly given a cab (SHA 3298M) with an estimated time of arrival of between 5- 8 minutes.

As with the current system, any customer with a booking made via the automated system and who calls up the system again woudl be greeted with a "Would you like to cancel the booking...." message, but I was suprising amazed when this message did not come through, what greeted me was another message that asks me if I would like to make a booking.

I subsequently spoke to a operator, who on questioning of my cab, did not enquire further and decided to send another cab to me as a replacement.

I would appreciate if Comfort can answer the following questions:-
1) Since I was given a cab number and I did not cancel my booking, what happen to my booking? The taxi driver cancel the booking?

2) In any case, can the taxi driver do that? If there are circumstances that allow such a cancellation to be made, then why wasn't I informed?

3) I called for the cab at 6.53 am and if taxi driver arrived on time, then I could pay the much lesser booking fee of $1.50 and could even avoid paying the $2 peak
hour surcharge. For the above replacement cab, I paid $4 for booking and the $2 peak hour charge.

COMFORT state of the art booking system leaves much to be desired in terms of reliability as I have had occasions of the following in the past:-

1) 2 cabs coming to attend to my single booking;

2) system telling me a different cab number from the cab that attended to me;

3) the failure of the taxi booking system to register my cancellation of a cab, resulting in the cab driver calling me up to ask me where I was, etc? Driver did not get any notification of cancellation at all and that was more than 5 minutes from my point of cancellation.

Thanks

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Linear Bus Stops?

you know, this one make me laugh loud loud.
buses now have bus bays to drive into and when they cannot come out from their bus bays because of other motorists not giving way during peak periods, they have this cleaver thing of linear bus stops.

Mind you, busy peak periods all also cannot move or move very very slowly, so how to give way leh.

If have linear bustops, that would mean behind cars all cannot move liao once the bus stops to pick up passengers. Many vehicles jam 1 bus is better or 1 bus jam many vehicles

Some cars would also attempt to overtake thereby increasing risk of accident. Also some drivers see elephant in front also cannot stop one, also accident.

Now already have bus lane, should be good enough loh...only think of passengers, how about the motorists who pay the COE and PAY ROAD TAX???

ULTIMATELY, if people give way then ok loh, bus can come out and all passengers also happy. Motorist also happy as now no need these type of inconvenience....

but then hor....

Think should go on a nation wide "use the motorcyle" campaign, then no worries about congestion and slow moving vehicles for some time.... take car also jam, take bus also jam====> now time to increase MRT fares liao !!!! following that, say too many cars-====> increase ROAD TAX, ERP and radio and TV licence fee for cars following that say too many people take bus, until bus spoilt. say too many people take Taxi, so not enough taxis on road===> market logic and cost recovery so increase taxi fare and bus fare.

the buzzz word is increase... but why no one increase OUR pay?

Advertising

met up with some advertising folks earlier, and indeed they have no time to talk cock and sing song. very busy, very straight and no time wasted in the initial discussions with them. they looked very stressful too, perhaps the stain of tight deadlines and their bosses. Also realised that if you don;t know and not firm in what you want to do, you would be pushed off the wall.

well, supoosed to find space for them to put up some adverts, much to the dislike of my conscience in doing so. Anyway, done what I need to do and now wait to see the FA.

tiny digit starts from 1 again!

Well, this would be the blog that I told myself to start again after I deleted the old one last year. A mini victory to getting round to doing this after couldn't think of a more appropriate name for the blog (even thought of calling this sexy blog, but then not very "real" and don't want to project a porn site image. Interesting got to the digit thingy after I recall the "the little red dot"....hmmm...no no this one not some political piece and another one of those talking the left and the right of how lousy Singapore is, this blog also not going to give Singapore 4d numbers (singapore lottery), Singapore TOTO numbers (Singapore's version of the powerball), or even football betting tips!

Lets see...what to blog about if no blog about politics. People tell me to blog about work, family, interests as in hobby, people, innovations, etc....piang! seems like so many things to blog....think I cannot concentrate and am getting headache.. Think I talk about everythng that makes me happy, sad, angry, frustrated here loh...in short...everything that makes me headache!!!! Lets see how to make this blog sexy and yet down to earth at the same time...

Oh ANYway, this is first post and supposed to talk about what the mainstream this blog is about and also who "is" am I...

First thing first...don't come here expecting to read good or even normal English, with no grammatical mistakes. If English like that pisses you off, then please kindly excuse yourself from here....and no, I am no ah beng trying to blog (though sometimes I have a feeling that I may just be one someday)

I believe the little digit that is the foundation of all things, machiam like atom (no no... that not smallest denominator!!!) so thats why the blog named tiny digit. I hope whatever people read here would make them want to come back and read more....and perhaps go out and be "inspired" to be the digit....

hey! no see digit no up ok! 2 digits come together (pun intended) so you can become a digit too ok.