Sunday, 30 March 2014

SPRING Singapore Has Become Hateful

31 March Monday 1:42 pm

To call it SISIR is a disservice to what was once a trusted and trustworthy government body.  SISIR is dead. 

The Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR) was killed since 1991.

Back when there was SISIR, their logo on a product was tested proof of quality & safety. You could buy & use a product with ease knowing that SISIR gave its stamp of approval.

Now, the manager at SPRING just sits & takes some thousands dollars worth of salary. So easy to be manager, I can also do it.  Best place to slack is in a government agency/body. 

SPRING Singapore no longer tests products before putting them out for sale. So don't buy a product with the Safety Mark logo.  Ironically.  (Or rather, don't buy the product thinking that it's been tested & safe).

If a safety mark logo has a serial number, it could be real. But SPRING did not test it for safety (let alone quality).

Any testing, if any at all, is left to the "supplier" or brand or "independent" party.  A "registration fee" is paid to SPRING before the Safety Mark can be safely printed on the box & the product can then be put out for sale to unsuspecting consumers.

Look at the stringency of the past SISIR's manual as compared to the slacking at SPRING now.

SPRING Singapore now:

With reference to Toyomi HEPA Vacuum Cleaner. Model number: VC8088HP.   Purchased from Giant Vivocity.

Hot very fast the moment turned on. Heat continued to climb during usage. Had to be switched off every second or so to cool a little. Back filter cover melted within about 10 minutes of use with breaks in between.

Reported it to SPRING asking if the Safety Mark is fake.

10 days after my e-mail, the SPRING manager Daniel Ng finally replied that the model number is not listed in their register.  But not sure without the Safety Mark serial number.  And wanted to know if I had returned the product and been refunded.

(Why? If SPRING had really tested this brand's product & if SPRING's procedures are so stringent, how come they don't know whether the model number is registered with them? And why ask if I had returned the product for refund?)

I supplied the Safety Mark serial number with photos of the product.

Then he says yes, the product is registered with their SPRING.  Since I had returned the product for refund, they will just "follow up with the supplier".

And that's it.

It means SPRING did not test the product. They left it to the "supplier" (Toyomi) to do any testing & then the supplier just pays the "registration fee". 

Certainly, SPRING gave its stamp of approval without testing the product since the product was not even made yet for testing. The box is pre-printed with the Safety Mark logo, means this was done on the production line.  The product was assembled & boxed without testing.

All a supplier has to do, is submit payment for the permission to print the Safety Mark logo.  If "testing" reports are needed, just submit some. Once get the Safety Mark number, just print away on your boxes & sell.

There is no way you can say a product has been tested when the back filter cover melted within just a few minutes of normal use.

[SPRING confirmed they did not test the product but used "an independent and competent testing laboratory".  Clearly not so competent & SPRING has no control over the lab.]

Sunday, 23 March 2014 Review

Quest for quick, effortless, plenty cash.

If anyone has made any substantial cash from Bet365, please debunk the myth that playing at this site is useless & a waste of time. Post your comments here or leave e-mail to discuss.

To start, I deposited SGD 20 via debit card. Easy.  It's really instant.  I did it with the assumption that it's as good as gone once it's in, let alone increase  (maybe).  Wasn't expecting much & despite the good reviews on withdrawal, I doubted it.  So, that's why I played with only $20. I actually wanted to play with $10 only. 

Since I have been reading how popular online betting sites have become, so much so that the SG government is interested, I decided to take a look at what it's about.  Online betting sites are said to be worth $375 million per year.

For all that talk about juniors betting online & criminal activity, if the SG government really cared for Singaporeans, they wouldn't have let foreigners flood in, in the first place.

When I used to play games @ Neopets, I used to think how wonderful it would be if money could be earned like this. Certainly, everyone would work hard everyday.  It never occurred to me that such betting sites exist.  I'm sure they existed even some years back or more.

When I looked around Bet365, I thought the games would be like Neopets.

After depositing $20, I saw it in my balance at the top right of the screen. But when I clicked to play Arctic Adventure, it said I have insufficient balance. I looked at the balance at the top right of the screen again & that money was gone.

I clicked on Live Chat & "Samantha" appeared in about a minute. After asking for my security number, she said the money is still in my a/c but in the Sports section.  She advised how I could transfer funds easily from section to section within that account = Top right of screen, click Services, Members, Bank. (A window to it will also open when funds are insufficient when want to play games).

Don't know why the $20 went into the Sports section a/c. Maybe that's the default.

So. #1) Very Easy to deposit money. 2) Efficient Live Chat that reminds me of Vitacost Live Chat.

I skipped Arctic Adventure & my first game was Bowling (right after I told bro about the site & he asked if there was Bowling).

Unfortunately, it was not really bowling.  There are no controls to determine the game on my side. Disappointingly, it's just 3 bowling balls (1 in each of the 3 lanes) to click one after another. The fall of pins is not in my control at all.  Of course, the House won.

The next games were all the same "fruit machine" style.  The bet amounts could be set as low as $0.05 or the game may have minimum setting of $0.50 or $1.

The winnings were very few & little (cents). Losses more often than winnings.

In 1 game, I bet $0.40. Won $1. So, total in my a/c should be $1.40. But only $1 was added into the a/c. Where is the original capital ($0.40) that I invested?

After playing around 10 games (the Financial section is closed since it is Sun today),  my $20 dropped to $6.09.  It is impossible to recoup the loss, let alone increase the original $20. Ample demonstration that the House always wins.

A dollar would drop to 0.09 cents very fast. Even though I played with the least amount of bet every time.

While playing a game, a pop-up appeared saying a certain username had won the jackpot of $685+. In another game, another username won $580+.

Whether these are actual winners & winnings, nobody knows. Same for Singaporepools.

Ok, so now I want to test whether I can withdraw the remaining $6.09.

I checked online again & someone says verification was needed but when provided, he/she was still denied withdrawal. This is despite the good reviews for fast deposit & withdrawal that I also read before signing up. 

I click on Services, Withdraw. The page asks for passport details because it can't match my fake DOB to my name.

Frankly, I am not in the mood to provide confidential details like this. What the gaming/betting side wants is money. That is their true focus. So why care about customer details? Why should I provide details that will identify me?

Out of $20, I am only left with $6.09. Where did all that money in between go to?

To Denise Coates & family.  Her pay & bonus are in the range of millions.  Who is the actual rich person?  She is "One of Europe's most successful dotcom entrepreneurs", and what am I?

It's quite sickening. Damnable, really.

Would a person bet if he/she had money? It's because don't have money, that's why hope to win some, to do the things we wanna do, buy the stuff we wanna buy. But do these betting companies help? NOPE.

Well, if only I had saved my $20. 

How about Binary Options? I bet it's the same.   

I really don't know how "George" as reported in an article, could even consider betting on poker as a "second job" (second income).  More likely, he's depressed at work and come home to spend it off, just like women go on buying sprees. That he refuses to consider himself a gambler is odd.  What's so bad about considering himself a gambler? Every decision we make in life is a gamble since nothing is certain.

He said:

“For me, and there are many others like me, poker isn’t even gambling. It’s a game of skill, strategy and psychology, much like chess. I don’t ever gamble, every single decision and click of the mouse is based on statistics and percentages"

Yeah, right.  Really? Not having played online poker betting before, bro & I said these players think it's real stats when it's actually the House's stats that have already been calculated to win.

If online poker betting can truly win substantial amounts of money easily, then it must truly be different from the fruit-machine type of games (as George says). *doubts*

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Learning from Youtube (Instead of being stupid/stupider on Ur iPhone/SmartPhone/Xiaomi)

19 March Wed 2014: 2:01pm.

Every time I am on Youtube, I learn something new. Anytime of the day.

Instead of smashing into walls & people,  walking into oncoming vehicles or dropping off a cliff while smiling goofily at the small screen of your iphone reading SMSes or Facebook, check out some incredible videos on Youtube.

Discover cool & beautiful science experiments. Simple things that could save your life in a pinch (e.g. how to save yourself from choking on something when there's nobody around).

Check out how united other people are, in organizing strikes/protests against their governments (as compared to Singaporeans).  Wake up to some disturbing facts regarding LKY.

Incidentally, when I was in Japan even during Singapore's iphone craze in 2009, Japanese people (including students) did not lose themselves in iphones or handheld digital games at all on trains or on the streets. Despite their so-called technologically advanced society (not true, by the way),  they aren't/weren't into the iphone craze as much as SG people.

Even now, whenever large groups of teenage students pour out of the trains (that I watch on live cam), I don't see them busy being anti-social on iphones. They interact with one another, playing, talking, laughing & joking around while walking.  That should be the way.

I was looking for how to make money fast online & ended up watching these:

I think it is the Orange peel oil that ignites. Not the citric acid.  I have not heard/read about citric acid being flammable (I just checked & a website said it's not).  If citric acid is flammable, he wouldn't be extracting out the juice that contains it.

In which case... Bringing along my small glass bottle of Orange Aromatherapy oil might be useful when I travel.

Below: He said... it could also be done with Mountain Dew, although harder. Mountain Dew? O.o

How to Make Fire using only an Orange:

Make a Lamp from an Orange in 1 min: Beautiful Cutie that I could use at night (though I don't think I can resist eating it completely...before I can even do this.)


Turn Milk into Hard Plastic: Amazing that this is from the protein in milk. Wow.  They used to do this to make handles & billiard balls (??) etc... when plastic wasn't around that much yet.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Acnepris Dramatic Spot Korea Biolee (Review)

I've used many different Korean skincare products (that I purchase online from Korea). This is the first time that applying this product caused a rash within 2 minutes of applying on my top forearm (above the hand).

It spreads well, almost like buttery honey, but it stinks (or doesn't smell nice, depending on your sense of smell). It smells worse than the Wild Ferns Manuka Honey products.

Acnepris is a product line by Biolee new @ John Little Marina Square. S$40 for Dramatic Spot. Contains Pine Pollen Extract + other synthetic & natural ingredients. Made in Korea.

I had tried the tester on display and it was an almost full bottle, new.  I least expected a rash.  Soon after applying, it started causing a slight itch. Ignoring it while I browsed other products around, it became a rash when next I looked.

Thank goodness they had a tester on display otherwise, I might have bought it.

I have used products with many chemical ingredients & did not have problems.  This one could be due to the Pine Pollen extract which hasn't been in any of the skincare products I have used so far.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

(Do Not Buy) Toyomi Handheld HEPA Vacuum Cleaner Review

Review Here:

Why Don't Buy Electrical Appliances from Giant Supermarket

Giant hires so-called department managers who always blame the customer. Whether Seafood department or Electrical department, these "managers" are the same. Low education, poor PR & unreasonable.

Buying an electrical appliance from Giant supermarket is a waste of customer's time & money.

1) Product has no QC (cheaply made in China). The Safety Mark logo on the box is fake. **
2) It is defective, you have to spend time taking it back to Giant for refund/exchange
3) When you take it back, you get rude & unreasonable attitude from the department manager who blames you for the defect (& even refuses to admit it is defective).

Wed 12 March 2.15pm: I recently purchased a Toyomi Handheld Hepa Vacuum Cleaner VC8088HP  1000W from Giant @Vivocity. $56.90.

Today, I used it for only 5~10 minutes, to clean a little of the mattress of my bed & a little along the wall corner. During this time, the machine heated up very fast & was very hot. So, I had to turn it off every less than 1 minute of usage.  Not only was it very noisy, it stank up the room with the motor smell.

When I turned it on again to continue vacuuming, the back filter cap fell off. I was surprised that it was so hot,  I couldn't pick it up.  The side of it was twisted. Bro said the plastic had melted.

How can a brand like Toyomi make such crap??

(Update 1 April Tues 2:26pm: Bro has since confirmed that Toyomi makes crap. Previously, he bought something from the brand & it was crap too. I said he should have told me before he asked me to buy this vacuum cleaner that I didn't want because it looked so unreliable. I only agreed that we buy it after much delay & consideration that we needed to vacuum.).

I was vacuuming normally & lightly.  And this was only the 2nd time it has been used. The first time, Bro used it a few weeks ago for just 5 mins on the top of his bedhead. At that time, the motor already heated up very fast & hot. When I went back to Giant & mentioned it to the Toyomi promoter man, he had said it was normal.

Today, I tried it & the back filter cap melted.

Without that back cap, the suction of the vacuum cannot work anymore. After it melted, I tried it again without the cap & the vacuum couldn't clean the mattress as before.

I was also afraid it would suddenly catch fire or discharge electricity. Bro said it is likely to catch fire suddenly & told me to stop. It was really hot & incapable of dissipating its own heat. Even after 1 hour when we arrived at Giant for a refund, it was still hot.

At about 2.15pm, we went to the Electrical department counter where a male staff wearing a wig said we could select other items for exchange. I had explained & showed him the melted back cap & he took it.  I was actually reluctant to give it to him because it is the only evidence I have.

While Bro & myself were considering what item to choose for replacement, he came over & pointed to the counter direction, saying the department manager wanted to talk to us.

Alvin Lau, the department manager did not even greet us. Right away, he was very antagonistic & said that the vacuum cleaner has already been used.  I said, of course it's been used, that's how I know it's defective. 

He then opened the vacuum cleaner and exposed the debris saying he couldn't return the product to the supplier. Then he fingered the accumulated white debris off the filter & accused me of using it on some construction debris. 

I said, "Come on. I only used it on my bed & a little of the wall.".  (Even though I had already told him I used it only on my mattress & wall. Another case of staff accusing customer of lying).

He said that the debris of their display model they use to vacuum the floor isn't like that.  (I find his comparison has no connection to the matter. My mattress & wall versus the store's floor? So everyone's dust must resemble the Giant store's floor, is it?).

I said I didn't know why the debris looked the way it did, but the motor heated up very fast. Before I could finish, he said he was not concerned about the motor heating up fast, but the debris didn't look as expected to him.

Since he didn't care about the rapid heating up of the motor, I said, the fact is that the back cap melted. This is a defect. No QC.  I asked for the melted cap evidence & nobody replied.  I looked for the melted cap and couldn't find it anywhere on the counter top where the other contents of the vaccum lay.  (I think they will be hiding the fact that this product is defective).

He vaguely said (without proof) that 100 customers bought with no complaints. Said if it's another one & if it's like this, he can only cover for this one & not the other one. (Bro said it just means he's lazy to do the paperwork. And what is there to cover? Shouldn't he inform Toyomi about their defective product & stop selling this?).

When I said I didn't want to exchange for another one, he said even if it's another brand & if it's like this again, how?  (he leaned forwards & pointed to himself).  He said, "You go Best Denki and buy.".

While he was talking, I glanced at his name tag. He noticed.

He finally said he will refund & asked the male staff to handle it. Then he just walked off.

After that, we went to customer service to get the refund in cash, and happened to see the Store Manager. I told him what happened & he said "Terrible!" three times during our conversation.

How can a department manager blame the customer, then tell the customer to go buy from Best Denki?

Why upset the customer in the first place? It's so easy to handle. Just say sorry to the customer & make the refund. That's all. Why open the vacuum cleaner casing & go through the shit of accusing the customer? And then finally ask the customer to go buy from a rival company?

The rest of the day after that, I was really displeased with this department manager. So unreasonable. He is proof that education is important. Without education, a person will be unreasonable & illogical like him. What he said completely had no intelligent bearing on the matter.

One day, if Giant is not careful, it will close down like Carrefour.  In which case, I welcome a change to a better & newer supermarket.

This time, I'm tired of e-mailing the Giant headquarters customer service. I did it twice before regarding 2 incidents & they responded swiftly (warning the staff etc..). But these department "managers" who handled the matters badly are still around (example: Francis who goes in & out of the back door at the fruits & veg section).  Quite tired of making them improve.

If they don't improve, the supermarket will die out eventually.  
Update 1 Apr Tues 2.30pm:  A few days after I e-mailed SPRING & didn't get a reply, I e-mailed Giant.  Reply came within a day (faster than before, although it was a different woman).  As expected, they would merely talk to their staff about it. No mention of removing the product or informing Toyomi.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lego Movie 2014 Review

Saw it ... about... 2 weeks ago.

I didn't realize until at the end, that the whole movie is actually a very good ad.  I woke up (to it being an ad) at the part when the "real" dad & son played with Lego in the basement. 

Why spend so much cash & effort in producing a movie-ad? I have no idea.  Couldn't it have been done like a normal ad (maybe more memorably done)?

After the show at the top floor, bro & I went down to the toy section (Lido Shaw Towers) & started looking for Lego the Movie toys.  Just curious if they had. Of course, they had. That's how good their movie-ad is (that they make people go look for their toys).

But surprisingly very few variety. Maybe they have more in the US?

Bro ended up buying the Uni-kitty from Super Stationery @ Suntec. He had been considering buying it even before the movie & had told me about it, said the movie must be out since the toys are out, but I wasn't listening.

I had actually been waiting for this movie to be out since last year when I read about it online. But forgot over time. Then I read about it again online recently & raved about it to bro who reminded me that he had earlier already mentioned about the toys being sold at Super Stationery @ Suntec.

I said I absolutely had to watch this movie. So cute.

About 1~2 days after watching the movie, we went back to Super Stationery & he bought the Uni-kitty. I said he better not delay buying it because now the movie is showing. Once the toys are sold out, the stores probably won't be bringing in again.

Uh... the blasting sound of the cinema theater was too loud. But otherwise, the movie is pretty well done. I like the shower scene best. When he said he was gonna take a shower, I was thinking how he was going to do it... A Lego man taking a shower with water?

Then when round Lego water caps & white Lego soap suds caps came out onto him, it was just too amusing. So cute... Round things drop on his head.  Too bad it lasted only 1~2 secs. Bro said, "What did you expect? Of course, it's Lego water & soap!".

Oh, I love the song by the way. Really. It's silly & especially so when a person is miserable, but it plays in my head and I sang it.  Everything is Awesome? What a song.

Bro likes Cloud Kukuland (Cuckoo). No negativity.  He said he wants to live there. I said he would go crazy just like Batman ("I hate this place" "darkness, more darkness, in the basement") because he's a Batman personality.

Actually, what is so dumb about the Double-Decker Couch?  I think it's a good idea.

When the Lego guy said the price of coffee was "37 dollars",  a guy sitting across the steps from us in the cinema said "Huhh?".  Bro asked if I heard that when we walked out & he laughed.