Monday, December 31, 2007

Hot Air Balloon Ride

What a way to end the year with a hot air balloon ride at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. (Trust me, I heard you when you say what a place to welcome the new year)

Hot Air Balloon

Trying To "Get It Up"

Well, don't get me wrong but I had a different agenda there which is to take my first ever air balloon ride which to me was great. We were there too early and waited a while before seeing a glimpse of people resembling what we would consider a crew setting up the air balloon opposite the stadium. (And yes... there is a stadium at Titiwangsa)

They started slow with assembling the air balloon together and had to rush to keep up with time. It was a challenge for them to get the balloon up because of the wind. The RM 50.00 per person price tag should be worth if for the amount of effort and sweat they put in. Look at the first try of getting the hot air balloon up.



The first few attempts was nice to watch but it turned out boring when it took them almost an hour later to bring the first bunch up to the sky. Finally it was our turn. To all girls, don't wear any skirt because it makes it harder for you to enter the basket.In The Balloon

All In And Ready To Go

This was put together by Skyevents. A one year old company which I believe have the niche market in Malaysia dominated. They better make best use of it before another competitor comes in. A majority of their crew are from the middle east.

The event although very badly organized was overcome by my excitement of being in an air balloon. Song Yia insisted that I am following the foot steps of my idol, Sir Richard Branson.

Despite the delays, we were quite lucky to be able to go up to the sky as the ride after ours was canceled because of the rain. Full refunds were handed back to participants who missed out.

Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Face Recognition With Myheritage.com

Deep down inside I always knew I look like a celebrity. (Yet another shameless self acclaimed) Well, Myheritage.com will be a testimony to the statement this time around.

Myheritage.com

I discovered Myheritage.com from stalking a peers blog like where I usually find interesting websites to immortalize my presence on the internet. =P

The Israel based company was started by a team who was passionate about Genealogy. The website has a full service ranging from free web generators to family tree products.

Although it requires registration to use the site, it pays off as there are a few cool face recognition tools to mess around in Myheritage.com which includes a comparison of a celebrity look a like and Morph which slowly transform your face to the celebrity that you apparently look most a alike to.

Here are some collage that I generated from the above mentioned tools.

Celebrity Look A Like



It is a bit of a concern that I look more like a chick. I was expecting Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and David Beckham to show up but it turned out otherwise. I do not whether this is indicating that I have more feminine look which usually is the characteristics of the now popular Metrosexuals.

MORPH





I should have used a picture with me wearing a baseball cap to make the morphing effect more convincing. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one.

In a nutshell, this is another cool website and if you have nothing to do on a lazy weekend, head on to the site and have fun. Do let me know you turn out to be like.

Cheers!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Create Your Own Game at Pictogame.com

Another discovery of a personalized flash content for self worshipers like me. This time, it is no longer a mere animated flash video but a game. You heard me right, an interactive game that you can share with your blog visitors.

I would like to present to you all Pictogame.com. This free to use website requires registration to store your created masterpiece.

The website is very straight forward to use with a step by step wizard like guide. I created the games below in less than 5 minutes and 3 simple steps. There were tons of games to choose from but I produced the ones below as examples.

Dancing Game



Sniper Game



Once you have created your game, you are given three options:

1) Direct Link to a page on their website where your game is hosted

2) An Embedded Code for your Profile Pages or like the above blog posts. - This is uber cool as you can specify the size you want it to fit your desired content pages

3) A Thumbnail description with link to your game as following:



In a nutshell, this site is another amazing free personalized content creation tool. This are good blog fillers on the days when you have writer's block.

Be creative and use celebrity pictures instead. Browse through the top created games to be inspired.

Well, enjoy the games above and head on down to Pictogame.com to start creating your own personalized games. =)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Learn Chinese With Nciku.com

Being termed Banana all my life (Yellow on the outside and white on the inside), I always wished that I learned Chinese while I was growing up. I can get away with the basic mandarin but when it is time to carry out a full conversation or put it on paper; I can’t go any further than my name in Chinese characters.

Nciku

I have come across non native speakers of the language and am always embarrass about the fact that I don’t even speak my mother tongue properly. Well, things are about to change with my discovery of Nciku.com! As an added bonus, the site has just recently been revamped with pioneering features in the age of Web 2.0 sites.

Nciku.com is a free online Chinese dictionary with a variety of features as follow:

1. Smart Dictionary Search

Dictionary Search

It works just like any regular search tool, set your learning language to Chinese and let Nciku do all the hard work of finding the equivalent word. If you type in “Apple�, all the relevant Chinese words will appear in the result.

2. Hand Writing Recognition

Hand Writing

This is a very handy tool with a great accuracy and success rate after my personal testing. It allows users to search for the meaning of the characters that they scribble on screen. The drawing area now looks just like those notebooks for learning Chinese characters we are all used to. Also, putting your mouse over the character suggestions you selected triggers a pop up menu for simple identification.

3. Text To Speech

Text to Speech

This is a totally new feature to Nciku.com. You no longer have to worry about pronouncing something wrong, all examples and conversations can be heard in proper pronunciation. Just click on the speaker button, and you can see and hear the pronunciation. Make a conversation and hear it come to life!

4. Keep Notes with Vocab Lists

Vocab Lists

Study notes were upgraded and renamed to vocab lists. No need to click to save a word now, as all words you view in the dictionary are automatically saved to your nciku page. You can move the words to other lists or edit them however much you want. Also, improve your language skills with memorization tests and more print options so you can study on the go!

5. Useful Conversations
Conversations

Learn how to do everything, from opening an account at the bank to buying tickets for the movies, with nciku’s newest main section. Browse conversations by place and topic, or search for words you want to know how to use, then grab any ones you know you will need and they are saved to your personal nciku. Check them out again before you leave home so you’ll never be at a loss for words again.

6. Tons of Other Cool Features

There are heaps of other cool learning aids to accelerate your learning to achieve mastery like a Q&A page, Theme Words and the handy Nciku mini. What are you waiting for! Start visiting the website now to learn more!

In a nutshell, Nciku.com has redefined online learning with the level of sophistication and tools provided. It is like having a learning companion that is always available.

I would like to take the chance to wish the whole team behind Nciku.com well done on their effort and keep up the excellent work!

I will frequent the site to buck up on my Chinese!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

JibJab.com

Another cool website I stumbled upon while doing my regular web browsing. This website is called JibJab.com and boasts a whole load of flash animation content. They can be used as personalized e-greeting cards and for blog posts like this one. The cool feature they have are that selected sendables allows you to star in your own flash video movie. Gizmoz.com has this but it took me ages to load.

The site requires registration and you are given $5 worth of free credit to spend on paid flash contents. Also they offer premium content, there are selected stuff which are free just like the following. (I like this a lot as I am in the video with Paris Hilton, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cruise and Lindsay Lohan)

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!


Have fun and send me the links to your JibJab creations as I would like to see what you have come up with.

Cheers!

Christmas At The Temple

My mom woke me up by giving my mobile a ring. It is unusual that any waves or frequency can penetrate my nuclear bunker like room but somehow, it manages to squeeze through. This must be by some special arrangements with Maxis.

Well, it was 6 in the morning and I was meant to attend a religious celebration at a temple in Puchong whereby it was the anniversary of the temple. I was bored and tired during certain intervals of the ceremony and decided to go snap happy. Here are some of the pictures that I took with my new Sony Ericsson phone.

Temple

Early In The Morning 

Willow Tree

Willow Tree at The Back of The Temple 

Pond

The Pond with Koi Fish

At about noon, we headed home for the next appointment. A Christmas lunch at Rosalind's place whereby the Turkey was damn amazing. I also got a pair of socks as a present.

That's all for today and I am going to continue with my beauty sleep.

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jarrod & Rawlins

J&R

Thanks to the bunch in the office, I will be celebrating Christmas Eve. There is nothing wrong about it but I would either be at home surfing the net and designing websites or sleeping if it wasn't for them.

The girls decided on the location of Jarrod & Rawlins whereby their choices of sausages and meat are to die for. The concept is whereby you select your choice of fresh sliced meat and sausages from the cold counter as you enter. You have to estimate the amount you wish to eat based on the weight in grams just like how you order your ham at Cold Storage. Once ordered and you have stated your preferred side dish (Mash Potatoes, Fries or Salad), your food will be delivered to your seat when it is ready. To compliment your dining experience, they have a good collection of wine.

There is something called "Dynamite" sausage that I would recommend.

Variety of Sausages

Variety of Sausages & Fries

Meat Meat Meat

Meat Meat Meat

I can swear I tasted something like "Char Siew" and "Siew Yok" from the platter above.

Cleaning Up The Ribs

Cleaning Up The Ribs

The total bill came up to about RM 50.00 per head which was reasonable as we had wine and the stuff pictured above. (The portion may look small but it is deceiving!!!)

That's all for now and skip the dessert as it is not worth it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Soscili.com

You might have come across my status on twitter, facebook, friendster or msn about me redesigning my websites. Well, it is true and this is a sneak peak to one of my initial projects.

Soscili.com was originally setup as a free content web page that required no registration to use. It use to provide over 60,000 pages of syndicated content for downloads. It sustains itself from web advertising and I was hoping that the fresh Web 2.0 look and content syndication will reap in more profits to sponsor my other upcoming online ventures.

Here is a quick look at the changes and face lift that has been done to the web page.

Then & Now



I am asking you a favor to drop by the website and have a look at it. Please do give your comments about the site. Do keep in mind that this page is still in soft launch mode. I will launch a full promotion for visitors and hits when it is  fully completed.

If you are looking for a reliable web hosting, do check out Hostonfire.com where this blog and soscili.com is hosted at.

Thanks bunch and it is just a few days to Christmas! Can't wait for that.....

Cheers!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Information Pages

Here are some of the information pages that I maintain:

1st Car | 4th of July | Alaska | Aromatherapy | Asthma | Auto Navigation | Auto Sound | BBQ | Beach Vacation | Bird Watching | Business Networking | Blogging | Branding | Buying A Boat | Camcorders | Camping | Candle | Carpet | Cashmere | Catfishing | Cigars | Closet Organizers | Computer Training | Dieting | Dog Grooming | Domain Names | E-mail | Electric Scooter | Embroidery | Family Travel | Find People | Furniture | Genealogy | Glassware | Golf | Greeting Cards | Hard Drive | Home Safety | Italy Vacations | Job Interviews | Kitchen Remodeling | Koi | Las Vegas | Law Of Attraction | LockSmiths | London | Monograms | Mosquito Repellants | Motorcycles | Myspace | Mystery Shopper | Nascar | Nurse Assistant | Parent | Penny Stocks | People | Personal Loans | PH Diet | Pool Accessories | Playstation 3 | Salmon | San Diego | Satellite | Saw Palmetto | Second Income | Self Confidence | Sell Your House | Six Pack | Skiing | Sky Diving | Speed Dating | Stomach Exercises | Student Loan | Study Tips | Summer Job | Summer Vacation | Sunglasses | Swimming Pools | Tattoos | Tea | Teddy Bear | Television | Termites | Timeshare | Traveling Nurse | Video Streaming | Wedding Favor | Whey | Wii | Xbox 360 | Yoga

Animate Yourself

If you are a self worshiper like myself, well Gizmoz is the website for you! It allows you to do loads of stuff and basically create a 3D animation of yourself. I did one post earlier about Gizmoz when I first discovered it. Back then, I thought it was only going to be a one time affair but I was wrong.

A newsletter that was sent to my inbox highlighting their new features made me curious. I was hooked afterwards and looked what I wasted my waking hours on.

This is what Gizmoz term as an animated sticker.



This is an Answering Machine whereby you can record your messages.



I use their pre-recorded voices but you can use your own recording. They also had the option to create your own animated video but I could not get one generated. It could be some issues with my connection but it is definitely worth a try.

Well, look at how cool that is.... Let's hope this will project to the world with the Law of Attraction that I want more MONEY!!!!!

I urge you all to have a go at it!

That's all for now, enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guess My Number Game Download

This is a special gift for the visitor of my blog. This application once again does not require anyone to install it and it is small enough to run on a thumb drive.

Basically, the application will generate its own number between 1 to 100 whereby you will have to guess the number by keying in your estimation. It will then advise accordingly whether it is higher or lower until you hit the mark!

Guess My Number!

Click Here To Download!


It is another good time waster if you are looking for something. This is to non productivity in the office ; )

I have not distribute it like what I did with other applications and let us see how far this application can travel.

I hope you will enjoy it and take care guys!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Munk Yourself

Already past midnite and as I was about to go to bed, I cheekily searched the internet for the official movie site of Alvin & THe Chipmunks and looked what I found.



It is nothing like the earlier mentioned Simpsonize tool but it is still a good play and worth a blog post. You can't actually load your picture but instead use provided templates to mix and match for a character. There is also a portion to a voice over but I can't find my mic (damn it!), so I resort to using text to speech.

Once again, have fun with it before the studios decided to take it down.

Look at how the movies are manipulating me to promote themselves. I want to work for a marketing team like that (they do all the hard work and I take back the cash!!!!)

Ok, off to bed or else I will moan in the office tomorrow.

Nite nite.

Simpsonize Yourself

It is close to midnight and I just got back from the movies watching Alvin & The Chipmunks. It has been an interesting day and I manage to snap my VISA application picture during lunch hour. The first thing that came into my mind was that I can finally use the Simpsonize website to generate a Simpson like character for myself. Well, here is the end results. You be the judge on this case.

 Simpsonized

The website is clever but it is not smart enough to generate an exact look a like but gives you a chance to refine your look. This where you can put final touches to it. Well, forgive me if it looks nothing like me or even better than the real person but I am doing this while my brain has long fallen asleep. =)

If you want to generate one for yourself, better be quick as I do not know when the marketing campaign from Burger King will end.

Well, that's all for today and till my next post, god bless!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Salute The Japs

Thanks to the wonders of video sharing sites, I discovered a few videos of latest inventions. I don’t have any methods to verify their authenticity but they seem convincing.


The one that I would like to bring your attention is to this clothing material. It is as soft as fiber and yet hard enough to withstand the impact as demonstrated by the reporter. I wish I would have learned the language to understand what the hell he is talking about.















The second video is courtesy of Japanprobe.com about a new toy made from a sticky material. It is in a shape of a pig and once throw on a smooth surface, it will go all flat but can still go back to is regular shape. This is not something new but I believe they have improved the concept and idea of the toy. I am just wondering what would happen if it was thrown on a bed of sand.



The Japs are acting god in this upcoming video and they have managed to remove the fear strand of the mice. The cat in the video must have been domesticated and have no hunting instinct.



Part of the article that I have extracted:“Mice are naturally terrified of cats, and usually panic or flee at the smell of one. But mice with certain nasal cells removed through genetic engineering didn’t display any fear,� said research team leader Ko Kobayakawa.“The mice approached the cat, even snuggled up to it and played with it,� Kobayakawa said. “The discovery that fear is genetically determined and not learned after birth is very interesting, and goes against what was previously thought.�


That’s all for now and I salute you Japs for the innovation you bring to our everyday lifes!


Cheers,


Benny.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dinner @ To Dine For

It is the end of the year and the team organized a dinner to partially bid farewell to a group that will be transitioned away from the team. This is part of the life in the organization and life. I was a bit sad but yet look forward to a challenging year ahead.

To Dine For

The dinner was at KL in To Dine For which was just upstairs of Bangkok Jazz. I also discovered that this is run by the same company that owns over 20 different Thai restaurants in Malaysia which includes Absolutely Thai and Actually Thai to name a few. I am just wondering why they did not combine their branding effort unless they want to create a unique dining experience in each location.

Well, that's all folks...

Cheers,

Benny ONg

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pikom 2007 Awards

I was privileged to be invited to accompany Song Yia at Pikom's 2007 Awards Dinner whereby BAT GSD was nominated for two awards.



We arrived at Shangri-La at 6.30p.m. in preparation for the dinner and awards ceremony in the grand ballroom. It was red carpet event whereby we took extra efforts to dress up. We were interviewed and cameras start flashing giving us the celebrity feel. I can life like this everyday. =)

Before The Awards

With Some Of The Pretty Ushers

The event started a bit later with a celebrity host. There were performances from the dancer and it is also worth mentioning the Harmonica band that instantly made me an expert of the musical instrument. Harith Iskandar also made a 30 minute appearance to do stand up comedy.

The Whole Bunch

The Whole Gang

Also worth mentioning is that I walked away with an Astro Max decoder worth RM 599. This is thanks to everyone on the table that helped answer the question on who are the previous 3 chair persons of Pikom. No lucky draw prizes though.

The evening became better when BAT GSD walked away with two prestigious awards. Here are part of the press release on Pikom's website on GSD's triumph:

CIO of the Year - This award is presented to the outstanding head of ICT in a user organisation that has been instrumental in the adoption of ICT in the government, private sector or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The person must have demonstrated exceptional leadership through the innovative and effective use of technology in support of the strategic initiatives of his/her organisation.

The winners are:
Tan Kok Meng of British American Tobacco GSD - Tan joined BAT in 1999 overseeing Malaysia, Singapore and Australia operations. Within 2 years, BAT grew into an IT shared services organisation covering the Asia Pacific with 200 staff. The global services expanded to the Middle East and Africa, supporting 70% of the global services out of Malaysia. The company now has 700 staff supporting over 100 countries where BAT operates.

ICT Organisation of the Year - This award is presented to an outstanding organisation that has successfully utilised ICT to run the operations of its organisation effectively. The organisation is evaluated based on the way it adopts its strategy, improves its resources, implements and integrates ICT which contributes to the effectiveness of operations. This award is open to private sector companies and NGOs.

The recipient: British American Tobacco Group Service Delivery (BAT GSD) -GSD was established in 2001 as the global IT shared services arm of BAT. GSD’s vision is to deliver value through sustainable shared services supporting end market customers. GSD is primarily focused on the management of on-going IT services with cost under management of £100 million per annum. It is an organisation of 700 employees in 18 countries, supporting 37,000 customers in all BAT markets. While GSD started as an IT function, it now operates as a business unit with embedded Business Services, HR, and Finance functions.

With Kok Meng

An Inspiration: Malaysia's CIO of the Year!

Another memorable event for the year!

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Win Spice Girls Concert Tickets

It would have been somewhat embarassing to admit that I was a Spice Girls fan when I was in High School. Well, now I stand like a man to say that I was and still am (er... to certain extend but not as hardcore as ever).

I saw some of the videos of their come back tour and thought to myself that it would be nice to be able to watch them in concert.



If you want to watch them as much as I do, the closest you can get is to enter the competition at EMI Malaysia's webpage for a pair of tickets to the show at 02 Arena in London. (Read the terms, they are only giving the tickets and you have to pay for your own hotel and airfare but it should be well worth it for a sold out show)

Click here, answer a couple of questions with a final slogan before December 14 and good luck!

What is M to U?

As I was driving in the city during my visit to Pikom's PC fair, I saw this huge banner with the words What is M to U? Instantly struck my mind was Maybank's online banking service. It stayed in my mind until I got home to view the website. Although it uses the same corporate colours, I strugled to find any links back to the Finance Establishment but finally found it at the terms and conditions.



The website did not have too much details or information of what it is for but I slowly discovered from random clicks that you can direct your own movie. The flash website is smart enough to compute your script and produce relevant video snippets and paste them altogether to create a masterpiece.

I entered my own movie and script under the category "Mind". I have been feeling lucky recently and will be submitting more entries shortly. Please do vote for me if there is a voting scheme anyways. I want to win stuff!

Post your entries to at WhatisMtoU.com!

Cheers,

Benny Ong.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Free Snake Game Download

Something before the weekend! 

Remember those days when everyone was carrying a Nokia 3210. Those were my high school time and this software that I compiled is in the memory of those times. The game is called Snake and there was once a craze about it and I intend to bring it back!



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Snake is a video game that came out in the mid-to-late 1970s and has maintained popularity since then, becoming somewhat of a classic. The player controls a long, thin creature, resembling a snake, which roams around on a bordered plane, picking up food (or some other item), trying to avoid hitting its own tail or the "walls" that surround the playing area. Each time the snake eats a piece of food, its tail grows longer, making the game increasingly difficult. The user controls the direction of the snake's head (up, down, left, or right), and the snake's body follows. The player cannot stop the snake from moving while the game is in progress."

I had the intention of distributing it exclusively through a subscription page with a Joint Venture site but felt that it should be open to all like the principles I live with. Good things are meant to be shared.

I hope you will enjoy this and as usual, it fits nicely in your thumb drive. Distribute this file openly and don't ask me about its compatability because I don't test it.

Enjoy!

Benny Ong

Software listed at

5 Stars Awarded on Best Vista Downloads

5 Stars Award

Bennyong.com Snake 1.0 Antivirus Report

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Heading Home

Woke up at 8.30 this morning feeling drained from yesterday's drive. Finally, we had the chance to have a good look of the resort. We were place in a 3 bedroom Cinta Ayu suite whereby the rest are still sound asleep. Must be the amount of drinks they consumed.



Pulai Springs Entrance 

After A Morning Stroll

Breakfast was ok and it was nice to see a bunch of fellow staff having breakie together. We soon retire back to our rooms and have a chat before checking out at noon. We took a chance for a kodak moment at the entrance of the suites. The back drop consists of an artwork whereby we place our hand prints and also a puzzle that we assemble.



At The Entrance/Exit

The Allies Of The Hunt

We headed home straight after the pictures skipping the trip down to Melaka whereby a majority of teams went. I was just to tired to head back there although the desserts such as Cendol and Ais Kacang was tempting.



Reached home close to five but yet still had the energy to wash the car and settle a few household chores.



Benny Ong

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My First Treasure Hunt

Today was an early day as we had to gather at Lunchbox, the cafe next to my office at 6.30 for the annual treasure hunt. I missed out on last years as I was not around. It was also by chance that I could participate in this years due to my travel arrangements. We were the last team to participate even after entry has closed and was car No 38.



The day started off with a Sudoku challenge and our team were hardly awake. This delayed our journey by a good 1 hour. The following clue after was for Nilai Rest Area to collect our tulips and maps. The journey started on with us driving towards Port Dickson whereby we reached Eagle Ranch for a physical challenge. I almost puke after eating a cracker with a layer of wasabi on it while going through an obstacle course.



At Eagle Ranch

At Eagle Ranch

The journey continued on to Melaka whereby it was like Fear Factor when my teammate Lincoln was to be place in glass coffin with two pythons and king cobras bagged up. The only was to let him out was for me to dip my hands in an aquarium with eels to retrieve pebbles to spell out the world Diversity to get him the keys.



After completion of the challenge of this league, we continued on Jonker Street before heading on to Yong Peng. After solving the final clue, we drove straight to Pulai Springs in JB



Team 38

Team #38

It ain't that bad that we manage to finish second place falling short of 2 points from the champs.



Well, it was indeed a great day spent with a great bunch of people.