Monday, March 22, 2010

iPhone - a temporary satisfaction with a long term slave

By The star (SOO EWE JIN)

THE thing about technology is that there is no finality to it. More so when it comes to everyday technology.

Take, for example, the smartphone. I have nothing against the iPhone, the BlackBerry or the Android. They have fantastic features and I can assure you that if I have cash to spare, I will happily buy an iPhone.

Not only will I look cool, but it will really freak out the young people who call me Uncle when I use it to play the golden oldies out loud.

But my boss will probably want me to buy the BlackBerry. After all, it has become a necessary accessory of the successful working man, like the tie.

Well, I have seen how this group of people like to hang out in Mont’ Kiara after work. They are able to remove their ties, but they are constantly interrupted by their BlackBerry. And it’s always about work.

As for me and my trusty ordinary handphone, it’s often just an SMS from my dear wife asking me to remember to buy a loaf of bread on the way home.

The problem with all these fancy gadgets is that we are thrilled initially as we try out everything and anything available. But eventually, we only use a smartphone, well, as a phone.

I read an article in The New York Times last week about a feature that is fast gaining popularity. It’s called FourSquare. Basically, it allows you to beam your location to your friends so that they know where you are.

Let’s say you promised to meet friends at Suria KLCC but forgot to tell them where exactly. By beaming your location, your friends can track you down to the exact shop that you are in.

I am sure the women reading this article will be more than happy to tell their husbands or boyfriends to get connected to FourSquare.

It will end forever the little white lies that they tell like, “Sayang, I will be a bit late, still at the office lah!”

“Oh no, you are not! You are hanging outside the spa at Mid Valley and if you don’t come home this minute, you can sleep on the sofa tonight!”

Get the idea?

Actually, it’s a marketing strategy to push us to embrace anything that is new, even though old technology works just as well.

A friend, knowing how much I love the good old days, decided to give me his old PDA last week. These days, PDAs no longer exist since all their features are embedded into the phones.

I am now collating all the information I need, including the full records of my DVD collection, my books, my friends’ email addresses, and all their birthdays, on this cute little Palm.

At the dentist the other day, I whipped out the PDA to read a book about the life of William Wilberforce which I had downloaded. It went well for a while, and then the strain got to me, so I switched it off and reached out for the Reader’s Digest. It was an old issue but it kept me occupied, and happy.

Next to me, a young man was probably happier. He was busy taking photos of his beautiful girlfriend, who was taking a nap, on his iPhone.

* I found this article pretty interesting as i saw many youngster who would indulge into such fancy phone jst for a temporary satisfaction and a long term slave to it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Small Office/Home Office (SoHo)

By the Star

CB Richard Ellis Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Allan Soo says the typical SoHo buyer are mostly independent individuals rather than professionals.

“This can be advertising agencies or those within the IT industry.”

Soo says the location of the SoHo is critical.

“It definitely makes sense to work in the city within a business environment and having your business partners nearby. If it’s going to be a hassle for your clients to come to you, than it does not make sense.”

Zerin Properties chief executive officer Previndran Singhe concurs that the location of the SoHo is very important.

“You need to be around amenities. Otherwise it’s going to be tough! But ultimately, it all depends on both the product and the location of the property.”

Wong, however, reckons that a SoHo buyer would be more comfortable working outside of the city centre.

“The whole idea of living and working in the same environment is so that you can avoid the hassle of getting stuck in traffic jams when travelling to your place of work.

“People who operate out of a SoHo would most likely prefer a quiet environment rather than to be smack in the middle of the city centre and dealing with the noise. The ideal location would be the outskirts of the city, near a park or commuter train station.”

A search on, the country’s top property portal, reveals four SoHo developments that are currently in the pipeline.

They are the Selangor State Development Corp’s (PKNS) Kasturi Idaman in Kota Damansara, HR United Group’s SB1 and Persanda 2 in Sungai Besi and Shah Alam, respectively and Ong Chong Realty Sdn Bhd’s PJ5 SoHo in Kelana Jaya.

Previndran says there is a growing market for SoHo developments and cited YTL Land & Development Bhd’s CENTRIO at Pantai Hill Park in Bukit Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur.

According to reports, 70% of the development (at CENTRIO) have been sold. It opened for sales in 2006.

Akashdeep Singh, a 30-something freelance film editor, says working from a SoHo provided him with great flexibility.

“Some people enjoy this lifestyle – working late and sleeping overnight. It can lead to a lot of office romances,” he says, laughing.

Akashdeep, who was going to India for a month that same day, says: “And in cases of emergencies, like if you need to take a sabbatical, you can avoid the hassle of giving notice. In a normal working environment, it’s hard to do this.”

Former lawyer Melissa Ram used to work out of her home and relished the fact that she could completely avoid traffic jams.

“There’s a lot of flexibility, plus there’s no overhead cost or rentals to worry about. With the internet, you can work from virtually anywhere.”

Melissa, however, adds that there were also drawbacks when working from home.

“Sometimes when you need to meet with clients, having them over in your house isn’t appropriate and in such situations, having an office would be better. In such situations, you would have to go out of your way to meet your client rather than to have the convenience of them coming to you.”

She adds, however, that if given a choice, she would still prefer to work from home.

“While working you could still manage the house and do the cooking. Plus, you could work till midnight and not have to worry about security issues.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Malaysia Goods and services tax (GST) in 2011 and 2012??

By The Star

It is not a question of if but when the goods and services tax (GST) will be implemented in Malaysia, according to Taxand Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Veerinderjeet Singh.

The GST had been scheduled to replace the current sales and services tax (SST) by the middle of next year.

But Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanazlah recently said the government would defer tabling the GST bill for a second reading in Parliament.

Husni had said the government wanted more time to seek public feedback before proceeding with the GST.

But Veerinderjeet believes it is only a matter of time before the GST is implemented despite the deferment in tabling the GST.

“We believe that if the GST is not implemented this time next year, it would likely be implemented the following year,” he told reporters after his presentation at the GST & Other Indirect Tax Developments seminar yesterday.

The seminar was organised by Taxand Malaysia and the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Veerinderjeet said the seminar was to educate professionals on the actual mechanics of GST in preparation for the eventual implementation of the GST. “Businesses in general need to understand the detailed rules and consider how these would apply to their own business operations. “Failure to do so may result in the loss of the set-off or credit for input taxes suffered and/or being exposed to onerous penalties for non-compliance with the law,” he said. On the challenges of implementing the GST, he said there were several, including pricing and embracing appropriate technology in areas such as GST collection at each stage of the supply chain. On the proposed GST rate at 4%, Veerinderjeet noted that the current SST rate far exceeded the proposed GST rate.

So does this means that everything is goin up? Inflation would be cap high? Property prices are goin to go further up? I just think that KL property prices has gone crazy and overly priced. The real problem is there are buyers who are willing to pay that price that has been overly priced. E.g Valuer only value that piece of 2nd hand corner 2 storey terrace link house property at Cheras for 450k but the seller is asking for 600k and the buyer just blindly purchase that piece property. Nobody's fault and is there a mechanism to educate ppl? lolx.. Else KL property will gorang untill hangus :P