My Rambling Thoughts

Even Monopoly has signature edition


Monopoly Signature Token Edition

This is a deluxe version: tin case, cloth bag, foil accents, golden and silver finishes, wooden houses/hotels and 64 tokens! Very premium. US$79.99 MSRP.

Super, Special, Deluxe, Ultimate, Limited, Collector's and Anniversary editions are passe. Now it is Signature edition.

Meaning of signature: serving to identify or distinguish a person, group, etc.

Is it beautiful? Yes.

Do you need it? No.

Does it improve the game? Absolutely not!

Cost is no object in healthcare

I brought the baby for his overdue 4-month vaccination. The nurse saw that the last baby evaluation was incomplete, so she scheduled a doctor's appointment. I did not connect the numbers then.

I waited over an hour. What's more, I paid full price (S$46.80, excluding 7% GST) just for a simple 1-minute hearing test. What's worse, it was one day short of the baby's 6-month milestone. The doctor considered doing the 6-month evaluation, but ultimately decided not to do it.

It was a poor decision on my part. I need to be more vigilant about the time and cost of doctor's appointment. It is not free!

Lego game disrupter, step 2

Last May, Lepin (乐拼) surprised the world when it released the discontinued Cafe Corner. This was the third large set (the first two were Temple of Airjitzu and Brick Bank), but this got people's attention because it was a fraction of the market value (US$37 vs US$1,500).

Earlier this month, the company behind Lepin, MZ Model (美致模型), launched a new series via a new company, XingBao (星堡). At first, I was skeptical that XingBao was related to Lepin, but it used the same text on its images, so I'm somewhat convinced. :lol:


XB-01001 Zhong Hua Street at 289 yuan (US$42)

XingBao works with MOCers (My Own Creation) to commercialize their designs. Some designs are truly original, some still violate IP — but possibly not in China. There seems to be more leeway to reproduce other people's design in China.

This is the next step in the game disrupter that began a year ago.

The decal that kills private hire cars

LTA just announced the decal that all private hire cars have to display from 1st July: a pair of tamper-evident 14x10 cm decals on the front and back windscreen.

Already, people are trying to find ways and means to hide or remove them. Singaporeans love their cars, but they also want face. The decal relegates them as "second-class" car owners — a sign they could not have afforded the car otherwise.

To ensure compliance, LTA should set an incentive (it's all about incentives these days): $50 fine for the driver for the first offence, $20 reward for the informant. Double that for second offence.

There are 51,336 private hire cars as of 1/1/2017. There is no statistics on private cars used for Uber or GrabCar.

In online forums, it is predicted that many casual / part-time drivers will quit. The power of a decal. :lol:

Ghost in the Shell Live


Ghost in the Shell 2017

I'm usually wary of origin stories (*yawn*), what's more a live-action anime adaptation (they suck), but Chris Stuckmann, a YouTube movie reviewer, gives this an A- (Ghost in the Shell - Movie Review) — and knowing he watches anime — I trust his recommendation and went to watch it.

I like it. :lol:

The key is not to expect it to be Ghost in the Shell (GitS) 1995, but a cyberpunk movie. In fact, I get vibe of Blade Runner and The Matrix for scenes that were not lifted directly from GitS. (GitS was heavily influenced by Blade Runner anyway.)

The film lifts many iconic imagery as-is from the anime, although not always in the same context, but tells its own story — more simple and much less philosophical than the anime — and is still cohesive and coherent. It stands on its own. I'm fine with that. I treat it as an alternate universe.

There was hoo-ha online that GitS was white-washed due to casting a white female lead over a Japanese one. I have the reverse issue with it. It would have been better if the Section 9 Chief was dubbed over in non-Japanese market. It was jarring to listen to half the conversation and reading the other half.

If I have any issues with Scarlett Johansson as The Major, it was that her thermoptic camouflage suit wasn't skin tone-y enough. :-P

It's too bad with the poor box office numbers that we will not get a sequel. But why do films need sequels? Blade Runner and The Matrix didn't...

File server disk allocation 2017

I had not intended to make any changes, but I got a file system corruption in /home and lost 20 files (out of 694,585). If I had split /home and /data, I might have not lost them. Well, better late than never.

Lesson: never put working-set files (often changed) and archival data in the same file system.

The new allocation:

FSCurNewUsed
/15 GB
/var3 GB
/var/log1.5 GB Flags: noatime, nodev, noexec, nosuid
/var/tmp1.5 GB Flags: nodev, noexec, nosuid, usrquota
/tmp3 GB Flags: nodev, noexec, nosuid, usrquota
swap2 GB
Reserved8 GB
/homeThe rest300 GB Working data is put here.
Flags: noatime, nodev, nosuid, usrquota
/dataThe rest Archival data is put here.
Flags: noatime, nodev, noexec, nosuid, usrquota

It took a full day to copy the data out, and half-a-day each to create the SHA1 checksum (for speed) and verify the copy.