December 2007

The Con Is On

When I was growing up, my childhood was spent reading books about ‘Robin Hood‘ and the ‘Outlaws of the Marsh‘.  Then there was that movie starring Emilio Estevez – Young Guns.  Then I fell in love with books written by Mario Puzo such as ‘The Godfather’.  The first film of the trilogy starring Marlon Brando is one of my favorite movies.

A few years ago, I chanced upon a series titled ‘Hustle’ produced by the BBC.  In recent weeks, I learned that the chinese video hosting site had all the episodes up to season 4.  To find the first episode in season one, type ‘Hustle s01 ep01′ as the search query.  To find subsequent episodes, just change the number in ‘s01′ and ‘ep01′ to indicate the season and episode you are seeking.  Each season has only six episodes.  I also learned of another series produced by the BBC – The Real Hustle.  This show is a documentary that teaches you how cons are pulled.

There is something about such stories that I find so alluring and captivating.  The brotherhood among the characters.  The importance of family and its protection.  The honor among thieves.  Living by one’s own code.  Not serving the Man.  Sticking it to the Man.

Why do we have government?  Why do we subject ourselves to laws, rules and regulations?  Why did our ancestors allow themselves to live under a ruling system?

Whatever the reasons for the taxi drivers in Singapore breaking the rules and regulations of the taxi companies, they have some measure of my sympathy.  As always, Don Corleone says it best.

“I work my whole life, I don’t apologize to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. I don’t apologize for that. That’s my life. But I always thought that when it was your time that you would be the one to hold the strings.”

The story of Mickey Bricks’ father is one that resonates with me.  The fate of the father is one that I hope never befalls any Singaporean.

Sadly, it seems inevitable that it would.

Links Watch

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Facebook To Google: Don’t Let Me Join Your Club. Who Cares… I’ll Start My Own

For the past two weeks, I was in camp having my reservist training. Managed to follow some of the tech news via Techmeme. Learned that Bebo established their own platform that was similar to Facebook’s to embrace Facebook application. Today, I managed to log into Facebook and I saw this post. Whoa! Ever since Google launched OpenSocial, there has been speculation if Facebook would open up and join Google’s initiative or even be allowed to join. Well, I guess Facebook just decided to start their own club. OpenSocial is a work in progress and Facebook already has all those developers and applications, so would it be Facebook that makes Social Open? Well, Facebook might be in a better position to ensure that applications for social networks can be written once to run anywhere (i.e. standardization) but would the resulting social network landscape really be open especially since it seems social networks would have to license the Facebook Platform methods and tags.

It would seem that Facebook’s strategy is to control the other social networks’ platform efforts to ensure their Platform’s relevance while Google is trying to create the environment for collaboration between social networks to establish a standard for applications on social networks.

Same Difference?

Tangled Web We Weave

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library@orchard moves on

Last night was the farewell party for library@orchard. I’m going to miss it. Before the library came along, the meeting place was Orchard MRT. I’m not sure if other people changed their waiting habits, but once the library@orchard opened, it gave me an option to spend my time better while waiting for people who were late. I now didn’t have to window shop. Sure, I could have gone to one of the mega bookstores like Borders or Kinokuniya, but there was something different about library@orchard that made it an option for me to go there to read while I wait for my friends.

Finally met Ivan. Tall guy. I felt short when Jillian introduced us.

I prepared something to say ‘goodbye’.





On Singapore

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