Shell #LoveMyRide Festival

Sexy KL Promoters

This has gotta be the most interesting festival I’ve been to. A lot of events are (to be brutally honest) a little dull and I go coz I have to, not coz I want to. This is the total opposite – I was up bright and early on Saturday morning coz I wanted to be at the Shell #LoveMyRide Festival.

LoveMyRide

There were more than 50 food trucks and stalls, racing simulators, 3D art fixtures, music performances and I got a free engine oil change and a tank of fuel to boot.

Shell LoveMyRide

#LoveMyRide Festival was an outreach to all car enthusiasts (attendance is free) but it appeals to practically everyone. I was particularly intrigued by the gathering of KL’s best food trucks and the ultimate engine rejuvenation experience provided by Shell.

Bay

I was allotted the 9:30 am slot and got assigned a number and a car bay to change my engine oil. The kind people of Shell gave this to 500 lucky winners who registered at their website.

Free Oil Change

My car (a Toyota VIOS) was due to have the next engine oil change anyway, so this was great timing. Shell provided the correct oil filter and changed my engine oil to Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology.

Shell Helix Ultra PurePlus

This is Shell’s most advanced motor oil and the first one ever to be designed from natural gas with PurePlus Technology. It’s the best motor oil in the market which also contains Active Cleansing Technology additives to clean my car from inside out!

You can find out more about Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology here. This is the engine oil that was provided gratis to the winners.

Shell Helix Lounge

I could chill out at the Shell Helix Lounge while my car was getting its ultimate engine rejuvenation and I took the time to enjoy the cars, music and food they had on offer.

Shell LoveMyRide Festival

Each visitor was given a limited edition map that can be used to complete fun activities and get stuff like free ice cream and Coke upon completion. You’ll also get a loaded goodie bag if you finish visiting all the attractions and activities.

3D Art

First up was a photo at one of their 3D art installations.

3D Art Me

I chose this one coz it looked really cool. That’s a real automatic screwdriver BTW.

deli2go Memory Game

There was also a deli2go where you can get discount vouchers from a memory game. The people there were kind enough to give me a complimentary iced Americano when they saw my half-asleep countenance. Haha.

Mixology Masterclass

I also participated in the Shell Helix PurePlus Mixology Masterclass. It’s was a live mocktail mixing session to demonstrate Shell Helix Ultra’s patented GTL (gas to liquid) process where you get to play around with various fruit (to represent base oil) and vegetable juices (to represent additives). I sampled my own creation and pronounced it good. smirk

Free Ice Cream

Free ice cream was provided to members of the public, which was awesome coz it was a very hot day.

Shell V-Power F1 Challenge

Next, I went to the Shell V-Power F1 Challenge where I tried to win a Sony PS4 console.

Pumping Gas

This is very interesting and as authentic as you can get without climbing into a multi-billion dollar F1 machine as you have to factor in the gas (fuel) aspect of racing as well. You’re allowed a certain amount of petrol which you have to pump yourself – more means you get to drive longer but your time is penalized.

F1 Simulator

I just made it to the cut-off point and climbed into the F1 cockpit. I tried my best but only came up to #9 at the end of the day. I didn’t get the PS4 but at least it was fun.

Fashion Bazaar

There was a fashion bazaar there was well. Like I said, this caters to everyone, not just car enthusiasts.

BMW 428i Gran Coupe

BMW was also there and featured some of their cars like the BMW 428i Gran Coupe.

BMW 328i Gran Turismo

The 328i Gran Turismo made an appearance too…

Mazda 6 SKYACTIV

…as well as the new Mazda 6 SKYACTIV 2.5L.

iamNEETA

iamNEETA got on stage at 12 pm to perform. I’ve seen their videos online before and I thought they were great. Diandra and Reza Salleh also did sessions on the stage.

Malaysian Book of Records

You can also go on test drives by Mazda and BMW if you want. I registered but unfortunately the nice people at Shell called to tell me my car was ready so I told the people at the test drive center to give it to the waiting list (there was a long one).

Shell Oil Change

I collected my car after the Shell Ultimate Engine Rejuvenation session and found out that I was part of a Malaysian Book of Records for the most number of cars to do an oil change under 12 hours. In total, 500 cars underwent the oil change during the two days #LoveMyRide was on. Pretty neat, huh?

Free Gas

I was given a voucher for a full tank of Shell V-Power Racing, the top-of-the-line fuel from Shell. I didn’t know I was going to have this so I actually filled my tank just the day before – nevertheless, they managed to get 4.45 liters inside.

V-Power

The people attending the pump were nice enough to squeeze in all that they could. I was quite impressed they could get that much inside.

Shell V-Power Racing

I’ll fill it up with more Shell V-Power Racing soon so I can do a proper review about the fuel. It comes with Friction Modification Technology which allows the engine to turn more freely.

Food Truck KL

I went back to the festival and checked out all the food trucks there. The Pisang Cheese, Little Fat Duck, La Churreria, Sangkaya and more were there. My better half couldn’t attend due to a prior commitment so I bought a lot of food back for her.

BangsarBabe

I think I spent more than RM 90 on food and drinks alone!

BMW Z4 sDrive20i

Shell #LoveMyRide was so awesome that we actually turned up the next day again. They had a “Kiddies Den” section where you can draw and do sand art activities. I have to say that this is one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended and will definitely look forward to the next similar event by Shell!

How far is 100,000 km?

Dresden

I travel a great deal and during my travels I have become quite good at gauging distances. I was in Dresden a couple of years ago and we drove down the famed German autobahn (where there are no speed limits) to Berlin, which took about 2 hours. The distance between the two points are about 200 km.

Autobahn

I have also climbed Mt. Kinabalu when I was in my 20’s. I went with a bunch of friends to Kota Kinabalu and we did the whole beach and islands thing, but also scaled the highest mountain in South East Asia. I was the only one among my friends to make it to the summit.

Mt Kinabalu

That was 4,095 meters. It’s only 4 kilometers but it felt like it was a lot longer than that!

Mt Kinabalu Summit

I also lived in Melbourne for over 5 years and at the beginning I didn’t have a car. That meant walking. 20 minute walks were not uncommon, to catch the inter-campus bus from Clayton to Caulfield as I was studying in two different campuses.

Melbourne Driving

Even after I got a car, it didn’t make sense to drive all the way to the city. Melbournians seldom do due to the high CBD parking charges, tolls and congestion charge/levy. I would park in Huntingdale and take the train to the city.

Melbourne Tram

Melbourne has a really good public transport system, with buses, trains and trams linking everything so I’ll rather spend 30 minutes in the train where I can read, update my blog (yes, I started sixthseal.com when I was in university) and talk to people.

Kangaroo

The reason I’m talking about distance is that it’s very hard to imagine just how far 100,000 km really is. I saw a billboard for Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus, saying that it’ll go for up to 100,000 km and I was trying to figure out how far that is in my head.

Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus

The circumference of the Earth is 40,075km, so you can drive around the world about 2 and a half times!

The Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus also comes reinforced with DuPontTM Kevlar for added protection, and together with its internal TredLife TechnologyTM this delivers tremendous value through being a longer lasting and durable tire. It also uses an advanced carbon based tread compound with higher carbon content for higher resistance to road wear. This set of tires is also optimal for precision driving with an Asymmetric Tread Design placing more rubber on the outside shoulder for increased grip.

Kevlar

That’s one durable tyre! I can’t imagine driving up to 100,000 km on a set of tyres. To my experience I would normally need to change my tyres around once every 2 years due to my heavy duty driving (I drive a lot to other states like Penang, Johor, Ipoh and Melaka to hunt for good food and travel). I just can’t believe how awesome it would be to save up the money on tyre maintenance and reinvest it back to my travel and food fund when I am on the hunt! smirk

Check out this video. It’s a very inspirational one and it’ll give you a sense of just how far 100,000 km really is!

I’m seriously considering purchasing a set of Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus – the mileage is second-to-none. I’m also interested in the Goodyear Worry Free Assurance which protects tyres against road hazards. First, let me explain what Goodyear Worry Free Assurance is!

Worry Free Assurance

Worry Free Assurance allows you to bring your damaged tire back to the dealer where you purchased it to claim a new one with your original receipt and the Goodyear Worry Free Assurance card. This is valid up to 6 months from the date of purchase, so think of it as additional insurance against road hazards, especially with the various debris at MRT construction sites. I personally think this is a very good initiative from Goodyear (they are the only tyre provider that offers this program), especially for us who stays in the suburban areas where construction works seems to have no end. I live in Kota Damansara and with the ongoing MRT construction, the condition of the road is not really in good form. Not that I am complaining – I am happy that the country is investing in infrastructure, but the road condition is really not friendly to my tyres. Now, these worries can be eliminated with Worry Free Assurance! Of course, there are some terms and conditions but they’re very standard. I believe as long as I don’t damage my tyres deliberately, I’ll be well protected.

Adolf Wagner

I love seeing the world and I’ll love to do that someday. Drive around the world that is. It is technically possible, if you hop on cruise ships for the oceanic parts. :)

I am balding and I need help!

I Am Balding

Looks fine, right?

No, look again. I’m balding at the top and have heaps of dandruff to boot! I’m 35 years of age. I didn’t expect time to creep up on me so quickly. I honestly thought that my (past) uninhibited and hedonistic lifestyle will kill me before I hit 30 and I’ve said so many times on this very blog. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. I’m still alive.

Dad

Unfortunately, that means I have to deal with certain things about aging. Like balding, for instance. I have male pattern baldness and it’s hereditary. My dad is almost bald and most of my uncles are sporting a shiny pate. I’ll be like that too, if genetics have a thing or two to say about it.

Svensons MV

However, genetics doesn’t mean that you just have to sit back and take what’s coming to you. You can actually thwart genes (like Angelina Jolie famously did) and to a less extreme extent, I have done the same too.

Svensons

I went for a hair loss prevention session at Svenson in Mid Valley during 2011 and that has helped arrest my condition to a large extent. I have seen a lot of good things happen to my scalp and hair during the 10 weeks of my treatment and now I’m back for more!

OxyDH Treatment

I’m on a more intensive treatment this time, involving lots more stuff so I’ll be writing about it as I go along.

My Scalp

This is the latest look at my scalp (2015)

I had a YouTube video of the same process during 2011 and things are getting better but during the ensuing years, I have not maintained optimal hair treatment discipline and things are not looking as good as they should be.

Svenson Mary

Mary is back as my consultant! I’m really glad to have her on board, she’s been giving me great advice about my hair and I love how she’s straight with me – there are no miracles in hair loss treatment, anyone doing that is probably fraudulent, but there are many things you can do to prevent hair loss.

I have gone through a few sessions and it’s nice to meet the same people I have gotten acquainted with four years ago. I’ll share with you the treatments that I’m getting and we’ll see how it all works out at the end. I’m going twice a week and I started with the Oxy DH Therapy.

Svenson Jet Treatment

Oxy DH Therapy delivers 95% pure oxygen to the deepest layer of hair root to enhance blood circulation and assist in the penetration and absorption of their proprietary DH Hair Concentrate Serum – it’s applied to my scalp with 3 miniature jets at supersonic speeds.

OxyDH Jet

This basically peels off the outer layer of your skin at the scalp and removes excess sebum (which causes hair loss).

Svenson Corrective Fluid

There are are 30 vials of Corrective Liquid which is applied after that. You can actually bring home and apply yourself if you’re very busy. This serum is the stuff that encourages hair growth and is the bedrock of all treatments here. However, it’s advisable for the good people at Svenson to do it, for one simple reason:

Svenson Green Serum

You can’t see the back of your head. :) Seriously, they can do it much better than you can at home. Also, in conjunction of Svenson celebration of their 59th Years of Crowning Glory; in the month of June, you can enjoy the Hair & Scalp Rescue Therapy at only RM 59 and you’ll also get a Laser Treatment for free!

Svenson Serum

It’s been great for me so far. You can head over to the Svenson website or the Svenson Facebook page if you want to know more about their treatments. Otherwise, you can also call Svenson’s helpline @ 1800 22 833 for information and make your appointment to enjoy their awesome treatment!

Svensons Treatment

It’s for both males and females. I’ve seen both during my time there and they run the gamut from young to old. I’ll talk more about the advanced Micro Transdermal Therapy I was talking about soon and we’ll see what I look like at the end of all this.

It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure!

Football legends Oscar and Pelé are in Malaysia and I’m meeting them!

Pele in Kuala Lumpur

Yup, you heard me right! In fact, I have a photo to prove it. :)

Pele Arriving In Malaysia

Unfortunately, I wasn’t at KLIA to greet Pelé, I doubt I’ll be given access anyway with the mob of people waiting in line to see him. I got the photo from the 100PLUS Facebook page. They’re bringing football legends Oscar and Pelé to Kuala Lumpur for an action packed appearance. Good thing I have an invite to see them on May 29th – this Friday!

Pele Oscar

Well, if you don’t know who those two are, I guess you don’t watch much football. Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior is a Brazilian for Chelsea and also plays for the Brazil national team. He’s a fast rising star, despite his young age.

Pelé needs no further introduction. Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, he’s been around for so many years that even non-football fans know his name. He was elected as Athlete of the Century by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and despite being retired, this Brazilian is still a formidable force, being the most successful league goal scorer in the world with 541 goals.

Oscar Pele

Thanks to 100PLUS, two of football’s finest, Pelé and Oscar are coming to Malaysia on 29th May in conjunction with their “Stay Thirsty” campaign. 100PLUS has also chosen 100 lucky winners to join them at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre this Friday.

Oscar and Pelé are the first international ambassadors signed by 100PLUS and were chosen to inspire youths across the nation via the “Stay Thirsty” campaign. Through the campaign, 100PLUS wants to encourage youths to strive and push beyond their limits, and hunger to be better.

Pele Quote

During their visit to Malaysia, Oscar will be conducting a “Stay Thirsty” Football Clinic for the four Ministry of Education Football League Zone Champions, sharing his knowledge and skill for the sport. YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Youth & Sports, will be present too.

Pele Kuala Lumpur

Pelé will be sharing his vast experience with the National Football Team. This forum isn’t just open to the 100 lucky winners and the media at the event. 100PLUS is taking this to the viewers at home via a live stream of the event on their official website. This means that *YOU* will be able to participate with the Q&A with Pelé by submitting your questions via Twitter.

Pele Arrives KLIA

I know you’ll have heaps of questions to ask Pelé so remember to log on to the 100PLUS official website for the live streaming of Pelé’s Team Talk on 29th May 2015 at 3:30 pm. Tweet your questions live to Pelé using the hashtag #100plusstaythirsty.

You can also surf over to watch the delayed streaming of Oscar and Pelé live in Malaysia if you missed it or like the 100PLUS Facebook page for more information. I got all of my photos from their FB page and I’ll be at the event this Friday, make sure you log in from your office/home/university too!

Behind the Scenes: Microsoft Surface 3 Official Malaysian Launch @ The Bee, Publika

Surface 3 Launch Preparations

I was lucky enough to view this entire event from behind the scenes, as I was involved in the official Malaysian launch of the Surface 3 on the 5th of May 2015. There were 4 guest presenters/speakers/influencers which were part of the event that day – 2 for Home and 2 for Office. I was part of the Office group, together with Careen, my partner.

The Bee Surface 3

The event started off quite early for us, I was there at 7:30 am for an 8 am rehearsal led by Rukmani where we ran through everything. Good thing breakfast (and most importantly coffee) was provided. Denise actually ran out and got me an iced latte – thanks for that!

Audio Ears On

I got wired up for sound before the dry run. I’ll be talking about how the Surface 3 has helped me in my life, and do a quick run-through of the things I actually do on it. I was quite proud of that fact that I was actually doing things I would actually do during the entire event, nothing was scripted.

Updating Blog

I was even replying Facebook comments at one point! I had my Surface 3 hooked up to the docking station, which allowed me to use a wireless full sized keyboard and mouse, as well as the HDMI output to Extend or Mirror the contents of my Surface 3 to the large monitor on my table.

View From Office

The Surface 3 Docking Station is capable of DVI/VGA/HDMI so it’s all covered there. I was a little worried that my personal account would be in full view on the large monitor they had setup for me on my table, but we were still alone at the time and the blinds were up.

Office Room

It had been decided in the previous meeting that the Home and Office sections will be flanking the stage and there will be full blinds/curtains to contain the scenes behind from prying eyes. We were slated to slip into the space and be in place at 1:50 pm latest.

Microsoft Surface 3 Launch Malaysia

The actual Microsoft Surface 3 Launch started at 2 pm. Thus, after lunch, we went behind the curtains and waited for our cue.

Rehearsals

Careen was slated to talk first and then I’ll go on about the flexibility of the Surface 3 – in particular how the Surface Pen allows you to write naturally while resting your wrist/palm on the screen (a very nifty feature I love) and the 4 USB and Gigabit Ethernet ports on the docking station (useful to turn your Surface 3 into a PC).

Happy Surface 3 User

I also liked how there’s a natural place to the left of the Surface 3 docking station for your Surface Pen! It’s a magnetic side which allows you to store your stylus without losing it, a very important feature when you’re transitioning from tablet/laptop mode to full PC mode.

Office Presentor Rukmani

I love little design features like this that helps make your life easier.

Personalized Mugs

The Surface 3 launch even had a place where you can get customized mugs made with your name on it!

Sixthseal Mug

I had mine done in “sixthseal.com” and “Huai Bin” in two different cups. I asked the nice people there to do the second one only if there were leftovers and they were kind enough to oblige.

Presenting Surface 3 Launch

I only have photos of me that I asked my friends to take while I was on-stage (or beside the stage, rather) and it was a great experience to talk about something which I genuinely like, for I have indeed fallen in love with the Surface 3 during my time with it.

Surface 3 Launch The Bee

It’s so useful for work and play that I miss it when I returned the Surface 3. It’s so portable, it works like a laptop (can even run Heroes of the Storm on it), and it’s silent since the quad core Intel Atom x7 can run fan-less.

Surface 3 Launch Malaysia

You can check out the Surface 3 at any large electronics store (saw it at Harvey Norman during the weekend) and see if you like it as much as I do. The Malaysian launch of the Surface 3 reveals the pricing to be RM 1,989 for the 64GB/2GB RAM version and RM 2,389 for the 128GB/4GB RAM version.

HB Careen

It’s out now, so you all have the chance to see what I’ve been so enamored with for the past few weeks.

Freedom of speech does not include bullying

I was a victim of cyberbullying.

I’ll share the details of how it started, how I realized what was happening was getting serious, and how I managed to resolve the issue and start criminal/legal proceedings against the perpetrator.

Cyberbullying can come in many forms on the Internet. It doesn’t just include direct attacks but other forms of harassing behaviour. I wasn’t equipped with enough information about my rights until I did a bit of research, which I’ll like to share with all of you. I’m sure every blogger or social media personality must have run into these things.

However, I’m not talking about the common trolls or haters, but people who have stepped further than that – committed identity fraud, impersonation and libel.

There’s a huge difference between freedom of speech and libel. You can hate all you want but when you step over the line by using other people’s identities and writing libel, you have committed a crime. The Malaysian government does not look kindly upon people committing cybercrime and they’ve taken a lot of steps to prevent that.

In my case, there was a single person (mostly) with a core group of 2-3 supporters, coordinating a libellous personal attack using other people’s identities to comment on my blog and on other blogs to defame me and others.

I can’t talk much about this since there is a police investigation and at the same time, I also plan to report this to MCMC so I’ll just write about the basics.

I first thought it was a common troll, but I realized that this person has gone on other forums and blogs impersonating me (using my name and blog) to make false and provocative statements. I only realized that when I got a bunch of emails asking me about “insider information” for a property.

The person intentionally put my email on a forum and created an account using my name to spread false and libellous statements. I had never even HEARD of the forum, much less commented there.

I got in touch with the forum administrators to get the IP address and other details of the cyberbully.

It was at that time that he started commenting on my blog (usually posting libellous and false statements) first using obviously fake names, and then when I banned him, started using other blogger’s names and email addresses.

He also went to other blogs using *my name* to comment and I realized that after some bloggers got in touch with me to ask about some unusual feedback I was leaving.

The first mistake this person made was that he seemed to have access to email addresses and names of a certain demographic of bloggers, suggesting he is more than a casual reader – he’s either a blogger or someone in the media/advertising industry, or he wouldn’t have access to such a laundry list of personal email addresses so that’s the first break I got while making the police report of a list of suspects.

This second mistake this person made was believing Tor would completely mask his identity. I’m just using the male pronoun for ease of writing, as I said this is going to be a legal case so I can’t put specifics.

The third and most vital mistake he made was that he usually copied and pasted a series of stock comments he had written (probably in a text file) and spammed them in quick succession at very specific and certain times during the day, the first batch of which is earlier than when most people wake up which helped a lot in the investigation.

It probably says a lot more about him that he’s obsessed enough to want to do this several times a day, which takes up his time but not mine (due to my spam filter) and to go further and spam comments on other blogs too. This, the authorities say, is very indicative of a CLOSE and PERSONAL relationship – someone I probably know in real life, gone slightly unhinged due to competition or work related stress/demands.

That was the nail in the coffin, since it narrows the suspects down to less than 5 people, which can be easily monitored for Internet usage and access patterns.

Cyberbullying doesn’t seem to fun when it’s not anonymous anymore eh? Be smart, don’t think that the Internet is the wild west, coz it’s not. The normal rules and laws apply if all the charges are upheld, the perpetrators will have to go to prison and have a civil lawsuit for damages waiting for them when they come out.

…and it’s not just from me, but from all the people they have impersonated so not only is their freedom affected, their future earnings and current assets will be to. Be smart, and know the difference between freedom of speech and libel, fraud, defamation and threats to property and life.

You are responsible for what you do so make sure to be a responsible online citizen. Contribute to the positive Internet experience, the law is very clear about this, as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588 Section 233 (1) (b)) states:

(Anyone who) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address, commits an offence.

The Internet is a wonderful place but some people just seem to think that anonymity can provide them with a license to do whatever they wish without consequences but truth to be told, there’s no real anonymity online. Everyone can be tracked with the digital trail you leave behind.

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue as the suicide of Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier and many others have shown. Don’t be disheartened or feel down if you’re a victim of cyberbullying – that’s just what the bully wants and it can have a very strong impact on you emotionally. I was lucky in that I was mature enough to shrug off the daily barrage of comments (over 13 years of blogging can do that to you)…

…but more importantly, I knew what my legal rights were and how I could get justice. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’m not big on revenge but I believe in personal responsibility so I’m going ahead with the criminal and legal proceedings. I know it’s not easy, especially for younger people, but if you’re a victim, please remember that you’re not alone – find out more about cyberbullying and how to get the help you need at the Klik Dengan Bijak initiative by MCMC.

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Surface 3 Bloggers

I was at a closed door media preview recently when I asked a rather embarrassing question.

Surface 3 Tablet

It was for the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Q&A was going on when I asked when the Surface Pro 3 was going to be released. There was a short moment of silence from the panel of speakers before two simultaneously told me – “It has already been released at the end of last year” – with a look that vaguely suggested that I was reaching new heights (or lows) of stupidity. smirk

Surface 3 Panel

The Surface Pro 3 is the more powerful and expensive brother to the Surface 3 and packs a beast of an i3/i5/i7 processor inside. I’ve been thinking which one to get and hadn’t decided yet at the time.

It got me thinking though…

Microsoft Surface 3 Rep

The truth of the matter is, people don’t actually follow gadget releases with religious fervour. Unless you’re a hardcore tech nerd, you probably wouldn’t be able to recite the latest hardware specifications. Most people only search for and read up on the latest news, releases and reviews when they’re about to make a purchase.

Surface 3 Hands On

This is where I come in. I’ve had hands-on experience with the Microsoft Surface 3 and I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ll be picking up a loan unit tomorrow for review but let me just tell you about the Surface 3 and what it’s all about first.

Surface 3 Demo

The Microsoft Surface 3 is a laptop replacement tablet that’s going to be released in the market soon. It’s a more affordable and mainstream offering compared to the Surface Pro 3 (which is more for power users) and it looks like it’s set to appeal to a wide range of users.

Writing Surface 3

There are a couple of new features in the latest Surface – the Surface 3 is the thinnest and lightest Surface ever! It just weighs a mere 622 grams. I was surprised when I picked it up, this is definitely lighter than I thought a tablet that works like a laptop would be.

Surface 3 Screen

Most importantly, it has a full-size USB 3.0! This allows you to connect a wide range of accessories and it’s what (for me) makes a tablet transcend into laptop functionality. You can plug in stuff like external hard disk drives for increased storage, your smartphone to transfer files (if you’re not using your own WiFi to sync), or even something as essential as a mouse!

(although I would highly recommend using a Bluetooth mouse instead of taking up the USB 3.0 slot, unless you plan on getting the docking station or a USB extender)

Surface 3 Excel

Also, Surface 3 runs all your Windows desktop software so you can use it just like a PC or notebook! That means you can use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and all other desktop programs instead of relying on apps alone. That’s the beauty of the Surface 3 – you can run the app versions when you’re using it as a tablet, but for some essential software, you have the capability to install and execute it like you would on a normal computer.

Surface 3 Pen

The stylus is a thing of magic too – you can click it once to wake the tablet from sleep and double click it to automatically screencap what’s running and open it in OneNote (a feature I’ve found immensely useful in blogging and writing reviews).

Surface 3 Camera

There’s also an 8 MP 1080p rear-facing camera with auto-focus and a 3.5 MP 1080p front-facing camera.

Here are the specs for the Surface 3:

Surface 3 Specs

This is one tablet-laptop hybrid that looks poised to take the world by storm.

Surface 3 Blog

It’s the first Surface to have an Intel processor so you can run all Windows software, it’s the first to forgo the proprietary charging system in favor for a widely compatible micro-USB port so you can use it with your existing car and portable chargers, and it comes with an optional docking station to complete the PC experience.

Surface 3

Head over to the Microsoft Surface 3 microsite to pre-order your Surface 3 now! If you’re looking for a new tablet that has the functionality of a laptop, look no further – you know you want it. I’m really excited about this – the Microsoft Surface 3 has been hailed as a revolutionary change and it really lives up to the hype.

How I save myself from GST – by starting a new company!

GST Lego Malaysia

The implementation of GST effectively means that we’ve all taken a 6% cut to our paychecks. It’s actually slightly more than that, but for the sake of argument, let’s put it at 6%. Your purchasing power is also down by 6% so you’ve either got to tighten your belts or find an alternate source of income.

Just think about it, everyone in Malaysia got a 6% salary cut effective April 2015.

I prefer to be more proactive so I’m not thinking of ways to cut down on my consumption and lifestyle BUT to find new sources of income to negate the 6% cut in my salary. I’m even thinking about *overcoming* it e.g. get more than 6% so that the my net earnings are actually MORE post GST.

This means that I have to do something, and I decided to start up a new company to earn active income to supplement my current income.

Conpany Registration

I’ve seen people take various steps post GST to increase their income.

This is just one of them. It’s not that hard to register a new company, you just need to take some (archaic) steps in my case – different councils will have different procedures but mine involves getting a chop (stamp) before you can take the official form.

The official form is a huge piece of paper that looks like it belongs in the 1980’s (probably was from then) and it specifically states that it must be filled using a typewriting. It can’t be filled by hand or by computer and no one I knew even owns a typewriter anymore (not even two large companies I asked) so I engaged the services of a shop in town that specializes in this kind of thing.

Typing Business Registration

It was RM 10 to type up the document but it’s worth the money I spent coz now I have a new company to engage in various specialized writing and creative services.

It’s called Pulse Consulting and it does everything you think it does, and more.

Pulse Consulting

That’s my unofficial tagline anyway.

Seriously, though, if you want to ask me what I do, just email me. smirk

However, there’s still many other ways to combat post-GST income stresses – one of them is through property investment. But property prices in Malaysia can be very high, so why not invest in property overseas! There’s one coming up that I think is rather promising. It’s located in the resort island of Phuket!

Elephant Phuket

I’ve been to Phuket many times and hotels there can be quite expensive – if you calculate a night’s stay in Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort or Club Med Phuket you’ll find that owning your own property can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you get benefits like golf, spa and boating benefits in Phuket.

Plus, this particular one offers 7% Rental Guarantee for the first year so you won’t have to worry about finding your own!

dCondo Mine is a fully furnished freehold condominium by Sansiri, one of Thailand’s leading property developers.

dCondo Mine

The best part is the price, it starts from – wait for it – RM 250,000 with 50% deferred payment. That’s affordable even for first time property buyers and I’m really keen to find out more about this luxurious lifestyle investment opportunity. You should check it out if you’re interested in expanding or diversifying your investment portfolio with a Phuket based condominium. The property showcase organised by Golden Emperor, a Hong Kong based company will be held:

Venue: Level 4, Starhill 5, JW Marriott KL
Date: 9-10 May 2015
Time: 12-2 pm (English), 2-4 pm (Chinese)

Seats are limited so hurry, RSVP in the form below and start investing overseas now to supplement your income post GST! It’s such an exciting opportunity that I’ll turn up just to see what it’s all about.

You can also check out the Golden Emperor website for more information.

Are you a chatterbox or a data muncher?

Sister

My sister (of all people) introduced me to this book by Gary Chapman. It’s called “The 5 Love Languages” and basically it talks about how different people have different preferred methods of communication. This doesn’t just apply to relationships and it’s a great book. I realized that I’m very big on talking (and listening) as my mode of communication. It’s what I find comforting but not everyone is like that.

Talk Text

I have seen others who prefer to write (or use social messaging) to express their feelings. It’s their preferred method of communication. There’s no wrong or right to this, we’re all born differently and along the way, we have acquired the methods in which we prefer to communicate. The book goes about how to bridge that gap and understand why others operate in a different way and I found it rather illuminating.

Happy Family

You may not consciously choose how you’ve grown up communicating, but Digi has something for everyone with their new Digi SmartPlan! It’s a new postpaid plan that allows you to choose which method of communication you’re most comfortable with – talking or social messaging. Thus, you can either go:

  1. High Voice
  2. High Data

I thought this made a lot of sense, especially since people use their smartphones differently. Believe it or not, there are still people who prefer to talk and use voice to communicate (like me – even though I was born right during the PC revolution and has grown up with IRC, ICQ and now to Facebook). There are also people who’re the opposite, who prefer to use Instagram and are high data consumers.

Girl Taking Photo

With the new Digi SmartPlan, this really gives the power to choose right back to you – you can either opt for High Voice (unlimited calls and SMS) or High Data (up to 6 GB). If you’re a traditionalist (like me) who just wants to pick up the phone and dial up a loved one, the former would suit you very well.

However, if you use a lot of FaceTime, Skype and LINE/Viber then the latter plan would make much more sense. It’s all about giving choices back to the consumer.

DiGi SmartPlan

I think it’s great and as a Digi user, I’m going to switch to the High Voice – the Digi SmartPlan really is versatile. I already have a fast fibre based Internet connection at home so I don’t need to use a lot of data. Plus, with the Digi SmartPlan 78 and above, I’ll get unlimited Whatsapp/WeChat even with High Voice! I used to be the opposite – no Internet connection at home and constantly using up my 3 GB of data per month just from surfing and updating my blog.

On top of Unlimited Whatsapp, WeChat (from SmartPlan 78 and above) and Facebook (with selected plans), Digi has recently launched their music app – Digi Music Freedom where you can stream music with zero data charges – this means that you can enjoy free music from Spotify, Deezer, KKBox and more! It’s a very good initiative from Digi for their clients, especially those who cannot live without music, and also it is a very positive initiative by Digi in helping to minimize the problem in illegal music downloads.

Niece

Thus, wherever you are in life, and whatever you like to do, with the new Digi SmartPlan, the choice is really up to you – High Voice or High Data! Choose which one you want here.

Adelaide: Foodie mecca and top wine destination!

Adelaide Central Market

Adelaide has one of the best food markets in Australia with the Adelaide Central Market. I’ve always been very impressed with the amount of fine fresh local produce there. There’s all sorts of artisanal products like farm-to-table speciality deli meat and craft bakeries producing delicious bread.

Wild Loaf

I even brought home a whole 1 kg loaf of fig and walnut sourdough bread when I was last there! This is from Wild Loaf by James & Emanuel Katsarelias and they’re renowned for their handmade artisan sour dough range.

Lucia Fine Foods

Lucia’s Fine Foods is one of the most popular coffee houses in the Central Market and I had a very nice chai latte while I was there. It’s one of the places you must visit when you’re in Adelaide, just sit and relax with a brew in hand while people watching (and there’s no shortage of that for the Central Market is vibrant and packed with visitors).

Barossa Gourmet Weekend

However, if you’re the sort who prefers a nice glass of wine and you’re going to South Australia this year, you’re in luck! The Barossa Gourmet Weekend is going to be held on the 14-16 August 2015 and it’s located in the world famous Barossa Valley. This is an amazing opportunity to enjoy Barossa wines matched with food from Adelaide’s leading restaurants at cellar door events throughout the Barossa.

Barossa Gourmet

There will also be “Winery Days” where you can enjoy world renowned wines, fresh produce and live entertainment (as well as a good dose of Barossa hospitality). If you’re looking to visit the Barossa Valley, keep this in mind as this will be the absolute best time to go – there will be events every single day, including long lunches and dinners, cooking classes and wine master classes showcasing the best of the Barossa.

Winery Days

If fine local Barossa wine and decadent degustation menus are your thing, you have to make it down to the Barossa Valley in the third week of August to see what’s what. Check out barossagourmet.com for more information before you head off to this celebration of wine, food and life!

Chai Latte

I’ve also had the pleasure of walking down Gouger Street, which is one of the most well known eating streets in Australia (kinda like how Hardware Lane in Melbourne is to cafes and weekend brunches). Unfortunately, I only managed to have one meal there as my visit time was limited but I’ll like to go again since there are so many restaurants offering modern Australian cuisine there.

Gouger Street

Adelaide has seen an explosion of fine restaurants as the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide (Australia’s answer to the Michelin Red Book, without the politics) illustrates. One restaurant I’ve always wanted to try is Magill Estate. It’s helmed by chef Scott Huggins who used to work at Tokyo’s three Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin. It offers an 7 course degustation menu for AUD 425 (with the Icon and Luxury wine pairing option, which features Penfolds best vintages) and it’s located at the home of Penfolds.

Magill Estate

Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations at the time but I’ll be sure to make one before I go next time. It’s one of the best restaurants in South Australia and a look at their 2015 Seasonal Menu offers a peek at the simple contemporary Australian food philosophy they have – “Partridge, Jamon, Last years pickled peach”. It’s definitely a must visit if you’re heading to Penfolds. I’ll go again just to eat at their showcase restaurant.

Polenta

That’s just one of many examples that the food revolution that’s swept Australia, in part due to TV shows like MasterChef Australia. Andre Ursini (Season 3 finalist) opened an award winning restaurant in Adelaide called Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar that I’ll love to visit again. It has a “Consigli” menu written on the board with daily specials that’s mouth-watering to read and I couldn’t try more than one main last time I was there!

Artisan Cheese

I’ve always considered food as an important part of travel and you won’t go wrong by ensuring your travel plans are in sync with Tasting Australia. It’s Australia’s premium eating and drinking festival and it’s been around for more than fifteen years! This biennial event will be held next in 2016 and it’s the perfect time for foodies to go.

Tasting Australia

There was more than 80 free and ticketed events over the course of eight days in the CBD and Tasting Australia is perfect for travelling foodies to enjoy and learn more about food and wine right in the heart of Adelaide. I’m really excited about this and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before! I would really love to go back to South Australia just for the chance to attend the various Tasting Australia events.

It’s going to be an annual festival starting from Tasting Australia 2016 so if you’re planning to go next year, find out the dates from the Tasting Australia website.

Australian Cuisine

There’s just so much to eat, drink and do in Adelaide that planning in advance can be part of the fun too! I’ve always enjoyed browsing potential festivals, events, restaurants and wineries and talking about it with my better half before we actually go on a trip and southaustralia.com offers plenty of good food and wine, in addition to amazing festivals dedicated to cuisine and vin. You’ll love the festival scene in Adelaide if you’re a true foodie!

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