Continental Tyres 205/55 R16 – Volkswagen Jetta – Correct Tyre Pressure

Tyres make a car. As shoes make a man? Or was that manners that make a man?

With all that pimping of your ride, those mods, transmissions, and extractors in the world won’t be worth the seat of your pants if the tire pressure isn’t maintained properly.

Having owned an Opel, Lancia, and BMW before [excluding Japanese makes], the VW Jetta makes for a nice, comfy, zippy ride, and that’s mostly due to the right tyre pressure and some tweaks. I promise that if you take some time to READ your tyres, it will reward you with comfort.

My Jetta door sticker says  I should run 30 front and 41 rear, which seemed strange. And the Michelin Energy tires have a max pressure of 51 pounds on the sidewall. I thought that was odd as well.The car manufacturers are VERY nervous about tire pressure, esp. after what happened to those Ford Exploders. They recommend tire pressures based upon the worst case scenario ie. fivepeople crammed into the car with luggage.

You’ve heard this before: Choose the pressure that fits the conditions. Consider weather and load. Are you are driving alone with no passengers? Is the road icy or muddy? Nice metalled road?

Tyre manufacturer recommendations :    1.9 Bar Single driver.  2.2 Bar with full load.

My recommendations : Cold –


Pounds per square inch (PSI) to Bar to Kilopascal (KPA) conversion chart



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Track your Aspirations, Balls Away!

  QLIPP Performance Tracker

Amazing is the impression I got, when I set eyes on this little performance tracker from 9 Degrees of Freedom. Imagine playing tennis in the styles of Williams, Federer, or Agassi. You don’t want to take the challenge? You prefer to live in denial, wondering where you actually stand, amidst the niceties of your partners shrugging off your poor backhand, or lack a topspin? It’s actually really easy.

When I reconnected with Donny and Cen from my early mentoring days circa 2003, a little device popped up on the table. A few minutes later, analytics surfaced, and profiles appeared. Whoa. 

I had to see it in the field, like MVP. And I had the opportunity to see the QLIPP tracker in action. Up against a Babolat Play Pure Drive racket!


The Qlipp Sensor snaps onto any racket in a few seconds, and syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth in double time. You are good to go. By the way, it was fun looking at the player through the live camera feed [but this isn’t necessary]. Might be it’s just for the crowd effect at Wimbledon. LOL.

All the stats are live and immediate. Right after our guest player hits a serve, you can see topspin, slice, sweet spot, speed, all appearing in graphical format. So, some of us had fun commenting “Hey, you need more power to the forehand,” or “That was a pretty thin slice there” during the test match.


The Babolat though [see pic], had to be sync-ed after a session, and took some time to get stats with the phone. As some of us prefer a few rackets to match our moods, I had to beg a question: “Does that mean I would have to afford a few expensive rackets to have a good game?”.

QLIPP is a finalist (Digital Category) for the 2015 ISPO Munich BRANDNEW award, and they are accepting pre-orders [in cool trendy colours I am told].

I am proud of these guys. Enjoy the journey. Play on!


[and yes, I am still sulking over the lost opportunity of beating Facebook with our killer Frensville]



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For Jack – The Junkyard Wars

Junkyard week2

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Devices Cannot Converge as Lifestyle Interfaces Differ

With operating system wars looming and content conversion inevitable, channel wars are beginning to surface. The midterm prediction reveals the use of one device to cover the shortfall off another. More obvious, is the disturbing disconnect between user and device over the span of a single work day. Whether one is a parent, child, manager, employee, instructor, or student, these roles are spread over multiple interfaces and devices where the only common service is the magically pronounced “cloud” depository services, and pretty much, nothing else.

Who controls the machines? Those devices in your suit pocket, handbag, backpack, shirt pocket, jeans, and on the walls? Manufacturers, content generators, or operators?  Do they talk to each other?

Baku WYMF 2013 by UNESCO

Baku WYMF 2013 by UNESCO

Trends evolve, demonstrating how competition kills innovation while device manufacturers defend their differentiation rights, by ensuring OS-dominant features. iPhones will not support Flash, but Samsung’s Note series have a full suite of Adobe Touch. While Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Skydrive and iCloud sit on most platforms, each is distinct in its rights management, access technologies, and terms of use. None are able to address user needs by time management nor lifestyle preferences. Sony has an interesting album organiser app that makes a weak attempt at segregating the pictures you shouldn’t be showing at home, office or with buddies at the office party. But this doesn’t quite cut it. It hardly scratches the surface, of who the user is, when an app deserves the right to access a predictive piece of information, and what it should intuitively display or alert to make that distinction felt.

By pegging data plans to the 2Gb mark, operators are capping our data, slaving us to a progressive billing system. Not long ago, I was allocated 12Gb each month for the very same plan I’m on, today. Obviously, operators are ganging up with an almost oligarchic determination to milk the mobile cow. Smart planning is the way to go. It flattens the playing field to benefit the users, or folks that are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to distinguish differentiation as the reason for owning multiple devices. Do we really need 5 devices? Phones for personal and business, tablet, GPS navigator, and quickcharge battery? See here:

On my daughter’s birthday: My smart device reminded me of my promise to my daughter to arrange a small gathering of her friends by alerting me 18 hours ahead, giving me a list of invitees from her Facebook fan and friend page, suggesting a little cafe near our place, and proposing some gifts her friends could chip in and order. Even the cafe decoration could be done by the senior citizen’s club for a donation. The time was 6.40pm, 20 minutes before dinner, when my car was about to exit the gridlock and cruise home on urban highway. 10 minutes away, all I had to do was touch the button, “OK. Go for it!”. The timing was strategic.

942684_489350704453980_59774768_nAt my Baku conference: my device launched a wakeup call, Chlorophyll  by Boxcutter. Onscreen was displayed the 3 top tasks I had to complete that day, and the recommended list of speakers I should connect with, based on my conference profile and the projects I was working on. Some of them had also made requests from Linked-In. It suggested sending: a text to my wife before she headed out to pick the kids from school [as home was 7 hours ahead of my time zone] and: a skyline shot to my daughter’s Whatsapp account. These 2 family tasks were flashed in yellow circles, and could be snoozed for 5 minutes. Conference track details flowed when I sideswiped my smartscreen. Booking a cab was clicking a message to hotel concierge as I was polishing off my soufflé with a black tea. A quick peek from the online cams, showed the crowd status at the conference – indicating if I would need assistance to head straight to the podium, or saunter through the crowd. Smoozing was simply bumping your phone with the other party – vertical for corporate info, horizontal for personal info, and you set what you wanted to show. Later, my device would remind me to connect with a message, and add more contact data based on the respective projects that required it. 

Post conference: Coupon invites popped up as the crowd was dissipating at the conference networking cocktails. I tapped “OK” to a few, and was asked if I would like to include Patrick, Grahin and Lauri from the conference connection earlier in the day. Sure, why not. The map suggested we leave at 7pm, cross the underpass and grab a cab [Price was shown as 5 manat for the 8 minute journey] to the seaside restaurant. It was a great night of local food, football and drinks. I even got to say goodnight to my kids via Skype, reminded just as they were tucked into bed.

This scenario is real and achievable, despite the plethora of apps and devices, but no one has developed it. No major design is required, just a thoughtful human touch to understand the way we tick. If there is a smart service, and only one, my reliance on multiple devices would not exist. I would be able to handle my personal, family, and business lives with renewed confidence, regardless of what I have in my pocket or backpack, regardless of the time of day, because it is a single service which understands my living clock, and acknowledges my existence by empowering me…at the right time. I might train it, or it might teach me. Either way, I am ready.

It might know me well enough to suggest the type of charitable work I could do, from a simple good deed like fetching a wheelchair-bound Mrs Lim from her home along the way, to donating to the PocketMoney Fund for special kids by rounding my online purchases! Now, if only I could get it to feed my cat….


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The Soap Opera Effect – A Glass of Its Own

HDTVs are mired in controversy these days, not merely over their impressive technological specs, but in interpreting what those specifications mean to the person devouring content in front of a piece of glass. [organic glass will blur that line]

Glass on, Glass off

Frame rates [ 60hz vs 120hz vs 240hz refresh rates, “judder”, interpolation, 3:2 pulldown, etc ]. They contribute in part to “the soap opera effect”, derived from the fact that long before digital displays, soap operas were shot on Betamax video in studios rather than with 35mm film due to the prohibitive cost of material and editing. You could slot in the video tapes (called rushes) and another smaller cassette cartridge for audio (called a DAT), and lo and behold, you have a suite shot at a TV series setup. TVs were  mostly CRTs (cathode ray tube) with a curved surface for the dispersion effect.

Digital can always be recycled and reproduced, but not analog film. You would only have the negative of a photograph to manipulate and print from, not the photo suite software we are so accustomed to. A photograph [from film] is seamless and has no dots or pixels. Motion in a 35mm movie is comfortably smooth at 24-32 frames per second.

Let’s look at the physiological/psychological reasons behind the Soap Opera effect. As humans have analog eyes, we possess “persistence of vision”. We don’t have shutters that are either mechanical (film) or electronic (video, either analog or digital). To demonstrate this phenomenon, turn on an electric fan. When stationary, individual blades are visible. Turned on, they become a blur and disappear altogether, when in motion.

Traditional film, shot at 24-32 frames/second has a shutter speed of 1/48th second (this varies by film stock, aperture and other complicated variables). At this rate, fast motion becomes a blur on film (known appropriately, as “motion blur”). You can see that on a single frame of film shot of a fast-moving object like a runner or cyclist. Our eyes accept a long series of still images, projected rapidly in sequence, as motion. We accept the motion blur as perfectly normal phenomena.

Electronic images, especially those which are digitally captured, have much higher shutter speeds, resulting in such effects as "super slo-mo" up to 5000 frames per second, which eliminates motion blur so we can see what's happening by slowing down the world with clear images.

When we have the content shot at high frame rates, played on a TV on a fixed refresh speed, we encounter a surreal effect. Varying types of reactions come from viewers, one of which is vertigo. Some respond that the “fakeness” of colour makes breezy plants look artificially generated, while others love the detail in a sci-fi movie.

The “soap opera effect” is caused by fast refresh rates [TV] and high shutter speeds [shoot equipment] and interpolation by the electronics [player]. Suddenly, we see what we couldn’t before – and can’t with our own eyes. That’s why things don’t look “real”, or look “too real”. It becomes painfully obvious because we grew up in a soaps versus film era, that we prefer motion blur – in a slower refresh rate of say 60hz, shot in the “normal” frame rate of 24fps. This makes our reality more acceptable because it better matches what our eyes see.

Modern movie production, however, use this phenomenon to good effect. In Terminator, for example, battle scenes in movies become hyper-real when nothing goes soft with motion blur, where action is in high speed, jarringly hard-edged, and super sharp, from sparks to bullets and laser pulses. We accept this “suspension of reality” because sci-fi does not have a visual benchmark that we can call normal.

Ouch, my eyes hurt!

Love and human emotional scenes carry more expressive elements than pixels can evoke. Ironically, here is when the Soap Opera effect becomes disturbing for some of us. The scenery distracts us from the focus on lovers, protagonists, or central characters who are attempting to get you to rivet your attention on their conversation, the nuances by their eyes, lips and expressions. Instead, the fireplace becomes a light show, the bricks are so close, the reflection of his gold teeth beg for attention. When a character makes a sudden move, we feel a headache. Too much of that, and we feel like throwing up.

Soon, we will experience these issues on flexible organic glass as common as walls. Already Samsung is scaling up its manufacturing plant to hyper-AmoLED standards, planning mold size to exceed 8 metres per panel width. If content and display synchronize, they might pull off one of the greatest magic tricks ever – invisible walls.

But if content does not meet the expectations of display technology, we could all be throwing up!

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Surviving A Heart Attack!

Emergency procedure in case of heart attack:

  • Symptoms:

Uneasy feeling, hard to breathe. Feel like throwing up. Slight dizziness. Vision looking blue/grey. One side of body no feeling.

  • Action:

Sit down – on floor or carpet – not on chair [ cos one can fall down instantly on blackout ]

Try to keep head on same level as heart…eg lean on pillow/sofa/partner’s lap

Sip water [not drink, sip!] – If breathing doesn’t improve, [this is the acid test], go to next stage immediately

  •  Emergency SOP:

Lie on the floor, on your side in foetal position [who the hell cares about what you are wearing]

Cough like hell!

DO NOT STOP till you see red instead of blue

Keep going for 15 – 30 secs [even if you have pain on one side of your body, keep going]

If there’s no change, call the ambulance [any services with a defib unit]

If you feel better, don’t get up yet, till all symptoms above are gone


This procedure has saved me a few times [i am serious here].

Heart attack is NOT an instant episode, there are signs before it happens. Listen to your body.


I will not be held responsible if some person is trying to snuff you with a pillow, or your drink has been doped, or you lean too far forward out the balcony.

NOTES: Under NO circumstances should you try to throw up. If you do, you will choke in your own vomit!

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Put Me In Touch with…

Possible reasons one entrepreneur may have to know another:

  • Need that contact
  • Could help my cause
  • May lead to another of like mind
  • Has a good team in place
  • Has good VC contacts
  • We share similar business communities
  • Has a good mentor which I need
  • Could provide help to that team
  • Can offer outsource support
  • Perhaps they will take me in as co-founder
  • M&A will make us stronger
  • Possibility to share an office
  • May get invites to parties

It matters more how one uses that contact to effect, than just having the contact for show.

You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
– Plato

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…let’s work together

I fear the end of the gentlemen’s agreement, the firm handshake, the eye2eye contact, the verbal contract. These days, I serve the academic research seeking commercial endorsement, via an innovative laboratory called CUTE or Keio-NUS CUTE Center. That’s Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments. Reuters featured the Lovotics Project in August 2011 in a worldwide feed, right after huge spikes in YouTube was observed from robotics-love pro- and anti- commentary.

In a recent negotiation over licensing a lab-related project by a VC and edu-learning service company, the preso played out, then discussions with researchers followed by a demo made standard fare. Q&A yielded very positive response by the client, with the VC confirming arrangements using a JV vehicle to keep research connected to the product. He would revert with the relevant termsheet to finalise within a week. He gave me a firm handshake with a keen look when our eyes met.

Fast forward 2 days. I get a call from the university labour relations office.

I was appalled to be told the VC sneaked behind my back and went direct to the university, whining that we did not revert to him in time, the conditions were not clear, and he had doubts over delivery timelines, yadda yadda, and hence, he would like to license the technology direct from the university for a small fee, full exclusivity in every country, with royalties not exceeding 10%.

I did a check on the client company and discovered they were running low on funds from their previous round, and were close to the “valley of death” if another round was not on the cards. They wanted exclusive rights and wished to pay the patenting fees for every country they would target, in exchange for less royalties after the first $x of sales.

Me meerkat ears perked up. A company seeking an innovative angle to bump up its valuation prior to another funding round, claiming off patent fees as expenses, and reducing its targets by pegging a minimum $x of sales revenue on a nett basis. This opportunity would have been flagship for the VC.

The lab had spent close to 5 years on the project, more than $200k in research time, and had delivered a 100% working prototype 100% improved from its predecessor. It was a perfect fit to the business model of education and online interaction, with a play value wrap on top. Perfect for Hasbro.

Are we seeing the end of trust as we know it?


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the big blue fish tank

how bemusing the view through bubbles of my ocean

clear on sunny days, cloudy at times, with strong gusts occasionally

misty cool, yet noisy and stormy on some nights so scary

on deathly quiet days, peace turns to boring

feats of extraordinary aerobatics seem to be a nice distraction

once a week, torrents flow by, removing some of us accidentally

splashes of colours play out as we unite to feed

a feast for sore eyes

those bubble blowing contests to express our needs are futile

or not, we cannot know, or even if we are heard

tsunamis seem designed to refresh our thinking on who we depend on

collapsing and death traps unpredict a normally boring existence

if not for the community of unique fish like us who are aliens

and yet are migrants now resident

there is no normal, while we have needs sold to us by

bubbles of discontent only, delivered by the clueless among us

some worth comparing, rest not investing

all the pain is temporary, as a matter of time is

only what we make of it

who we make from it

how we make it for

all else is a matter of fish food

sand and rocks


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Japan Tsunami a Predilection of 2012?

Never did I realize the art piece I created in watercolor in 1975, in honor of Hokusai, would come to mind when news of Japan’s tsunami poured in. In my piece, I replaced Mount Fuji with a small city in silhouette, and the tone of the piece was of trembling doom, immersed in crimson sunset, awaiting the inevitable crash.

On March 11, 2011, the east coast of Honshu became the epicentre of an underwater earthquake, transmitting the force westwards. The city of Sendai looked a major washout after a 8.9 richter hit, the biggest in 140 years globally, and 1,200 years in the history of Japan. This adjustment of the earth’s tectonic plates took just 5mins. Reported dead and missing total 1,014 but I am of the opinion the numbers are greater than that. My guess is around 3 times more, once the body count begins.

Source: wikipedia

Sendai bears the brunt of Japanese tsunami

New Zealand’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch on February 21st 2011 with a death toll of 166. In contrast, Indonesia’s 9.3 magnitude 8 minute quake in 2004 claimed more than 183,000 lives, mostly in Bandah Aceh. Over the next 48 hours, 51 aftershocks rocked Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Maldives with major repercussions on Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. Total dead exceeded 283,000.

In September of 2009, more than 1,000 people lost their lives in Padang from a 7.6 richter quake, followed by a 6.8 a day later.

On 26 December 2004, my tears flowed freely, as I watched the death toll rise from 1,500 to 6,000. I begged God to offer this humble simpleton a glimpse of His reason or motivation for this unnatural sacrifice of innocents. With heart and mind, I prayed and fasted 2 days looking for a sign or whisper. “Please, dear Lord, please share a small piece of your infinite wisdom with this undeserving speck of dust. A tiny clue will enlighten me, so I can try to understand why all this pain, suffering and despair is happening…”.  I heard 3 words: compassion. sacrifice. forgiveness. Nothing more. Only the drone of TV and radio broadcasts updating body counts in the affected countries. Interrupted by more tears. More questions. Deep grief. An empty sadness.

2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is more than a science lesson

Who had friends on holiday? Anyone knew who had returned? Why are there so many women and children on the death list? Is this the start? Or the end? Perhaps the start of the end? Is 2012 a possibility?

I have come to accept that humanity can only be measured in those 3 words I had heard, from a deep voice planted in my head, while I was cradling my 2 year old son in my lap as he fell asleep. Each community slackens in virtue when the economy prospers, and people forget God, and why we should aspire to a higher being. We get complacent and focus on amassing wealth and material gain. We ignore the pleas of the innocent. We take advantage of others for our own gain, psychologically or materially. We forget generosity, neighbourliness, consideration, and place ourselves ahead of more deserving others. We hide our hearts behind masks of corporate social responsibility by contributing cash, not our efforts, nor our precious time. We break our promises.

When greed is left unchecked, and festers within society masked by rules and regulations, many are tempted to utilize their brilliance for self gain. When regulations are enforced, it is often to someone’s convenience, or to a society’s gain. Seldom are statutes erected without repercussions to others left in the gaps. While its original intent may have been to “protect the innocent”, the sword cuts both ways.

Every time that occurs, science dictates that action equals reaction, and the theory of relativity kicks in. Often, collateral damage occurs, but argued as affecting the minority, easily resolved by special acts or waivers…which often are too difficult to support, or which consumes too many resources to be deemed practical. Too little, too late.

Some surmise that the tsunami of depression crashed onto the American economy in 2009, shifting the power to the East. Other theories decry the inactive citizenry, foolish and accepting of a non-reality, a pseudo-depiction of the American Way, careless and carefree, oblivious to voices calling for conservation, values, an honest audit of freedom not defined by consumption and spending.

” Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t “

Erica Jong

Many have accused the Japanese economy of falling into disrepair, into a despair of the people, one affecting the traditional values of its conservative Zen-based societal roots. Perhaps, that demise can be lifted by exposure to events which evoke compassion, to actionable sacrifice from the heart, and the ultimate forgiveness of a generation, and with that, a return to traditional values.

” Every one of us gets what we are born with. It is what we do with that, who we become, who we touch, what we contribute every single day, that gives meaning to our lives “

Scientists have a logical explanation for all of this. Every few hundred years, the earth goes through corrective adjustments by way of its tectonic plates. This century will see minor corrections, a shadow of its former agenda, when countries were formed and weather changes decommissioned entire species. This time round, plate shifts and weather changes are considered mild. It is not global warming.

Perhaps, it is just our perception that the value of life has gone up.

What are you doing every minute with your life to make the world more valuable by your presence?


Almost 2 months have passed, and the death toll continues to escalate. TEPCO’s Fukushima debacle has now exceeded Chernobyl’s disaster benchmark to become the worst nuclear disaster todate. No longer just the body count from an earthquake, mankind has to now pay the price of playing with nuclear power, and Japan is not alone.

Highly contaminated seawater loaded with Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 are being absorbed by sea life as it pours out of northern Japan. Geographically wind-driven, tide and ocean currents like the North Atlantic Drift head toward California and Alaska. Fish and lobsters migrate large distances without stopping. Krill and shellfish are carried by underwater currents. They are, in turn, eaten by other inhabitants of the ocean, and re-transported.

Seafood, once considered the safer alternative to genetically modified cops and farm bred animals, are now on the non-edible list. “What’s In My Fish” is a movement championed by my friend Gordon, since 2009, where he begs us to question what we are consuming from the sea, and whilst I believe it was intended as a cause toward saving aquatic environments as consumers demand more from the ocean, it highlights how wasteful commercialism really is.

Radioactive substances do not “go away”. They were picked for their long shelf lives of 30 years or more. Seeping to the water table, well water, and even into plants and crops, particles are also carried by insects which fly and swarm at the whim of the wind. As pollinators, these insects carry particles over long distances termed vectors, and deposit them on plants, edible or ornamental.

Even when they die, these radioactive particles continue to emit radiation, which when consumed, alters the molecular makeup of your cells, causing cancer. This mutation will genetically carry forward to your offspring, as well as expose them to your affected presence. While Iodine 131 may breakdown in 8-16 days, Cesium will take centuries to become harmless…and only if we can account for where all of it has gone to.

I guess we shall have to be much more aware of our environment now, and watch what we eat!

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