MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017

Lifelong learning is a personal philosophy and mantra that I adopt, advocate and share whenever I am able to. Regardless of the qualifications that I have, the amount of life and professional experiences that I currently possess, I always tell and remind myself that I do not know everything in the world, there is always something to learn, a new skill/knowledge and/or upgrading my current skills/knowledge.

Most recently, I was kindly invited to a seminar, MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 organised by Management Development and Consultancy (MDC), the corporate training arm of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). The title of the seminar was “From the Present to the Future: Getting Ready for Digital Transformation”, the speakers were highly experienced professionals in their field of their respective specialisation expertise. One of my friends Walter was one of the speakers for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 and it was great to catch up with him during the event!

The speakers and their topics were as follow:

Andrew Chow (Speaker and Facilitator)

Digital Marketing Strategy Overview for 2018

Search Marketing – How to be seen and searched at the right places

Social Media Marketing – Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing

Walter Lim (Speaker)

Content Markting: Choosing the Right Content and Channels

Nick Tan (Speaker)

How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?

Alvin Lim (Speaker)

How to use blogging as an effective marketing tool

Xi Wei (Speaker)

Gamification – Don’t be a noob: Raising your game in the digital world

After the introduction, welcome and opening address by June Lim, Assistant Director of MDC, Andrew took over, he had dual roles of both a speaker and facilitaor for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017. Andrew’s experience in conducting seminars can be seen when he employed an ice breaker game for participants to mingle around, meet, introduce and chat with different people.

Thereafter, the seminar started with tea and lunch breaks in between the entire Digital Marketing Day seminar. I have been hands-on inside the digital marketing / social media / blogging fields since April 2006, I have personally seen the huge changes in internet marketing, SEO, digital marketing and social media over the past decade. Although I am being “trained On-The-Job”, the topics shared by the various speakers were always a good refresher for me and there is always something new to learn because I don’t know every thing/knowledge/skills in life. It is always good to keep myself updated, upgraded and learn new knowledge and skills in life, on both personal and professional level.

Some topics such as “Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing” by Andrew and “How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?” by Nick, got me thinking ahead for the future, how I am able to make the changes, adapt and adopt new technology, as well as rediscovering myself in the commercial world of digital media marketing / social media marketing.

At the end of the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017, it had been a fruitful and eventful learning day, networking , learning, upgrading and a refresher for me too. Do keep a look out for the various types of programmes and courses by MDC, highly suitable for working professionals to upgrade and learn new skills/knowledge.

I would like to thank MDC for the invitation to their MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017!

* Pictures courtesy of MDC *

Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

Copernicus Gold launched digital payments system linked to gold

One of my previous professional working experiences was in the financial advisory industry. While my professional training was in financial planning and advisory, I was also exposed to alternative investments in the financial industry that were of strong interest to me too, one of them was gold investments.

This area of gold investments, is probably not as well publicised nor well known to the public. It is not as widely and openly traded in the mass consumer markets versus at the institutional level. Nonetheless, I reckon there are a small group of consumers in the market who have invested in gold and there are more who wish to have started investing in gold investments.

Most recently, I received information on this new company Copernicus Gold setting up their headquarters office in Singapore. I was very interested to learn more about them, a combination of a traditional alternative investment product (gold) with modern technology using Blockchain.

In my article, I am sharing more about Copernicus Gold and their new digital payments system linked to gold. Please do your own due diligence, read up more about investing, alternative investing, gold investments before you start any form of investing in the financial markets.

I have started to read up more about them and what they do, they have a pretty good FAQ on their website for those who have queries in your mind on what they do and how they do it. Personally, I hope to learn more in-depth about them and share more articles on investing in gold, that is now more openly available and easier to do in Singapore.

If you like to know more about Copernicus Gold, check out the various Copernicus Gold links below to their website and social media channels:

Let me share with you more about their new digital payments system linked to gold from their press release information below:

Copernicus Gold offers a reliable global system for gold trade that is simple, of mass, and is cheap; solving, for the first time, Gresham’s Law which states that ‘bad money drives out good’.

For instance, if there are two forms of commodity money in circulation and both are accepted by law as having similar face value, the more valuable of the two will disappear from circulation. For example, from the 1920s to today, fiat currency drove out gold backed currency, simply because a few who could have wanted to own all the gold.

By developing formulae based on a strict mathematical statement of the necessary size of the company’s gold reserve, Copernicus Gold has determined and been granted a patent by the US Patent Office for an algorithm that forms the basis of a global payments system business model, linking a digital asset or currency to a reserve of a commodity such as gold. The algorithm ensures that the reserve of the commodity is at an optimal level to fulfil all incoming orders, as well as to issue, and maintain in reserve, sufficient amount of that commodity, in this case gold, and currencies based on several general requirements.

Professor Vladmir Nikolaevich Frolov, the founder of Copernicus Gold says, “The mathematical model, or algorithm, accounts for the market price of gold, the bullions’ weight and other conditions. This ensures that the amount held in reserve is satisfactory for operational continuity, plus avoids the emission of unreasonably large or insufficient amounts of electronic gold.”

As such, Copernicus Gold has launched a global payments system of digital gold, which is linked to a store of gold bullion in Singapore. The system operates as a cloud-based multi-currency platform that issues digital gold in any measure, enabling anyone, anywhere, to acquire, save or pay with digital gold.

PATENT ISSUED

Copernicus Gold has successfully lodged and been granted a patent for its mathematical model by the US Patent Office. The patent was granted for a “System and method for issuance of electronic currency substantiated by a reserve of assets”. The invention is classified as an electronic currency and particularly, a system for, and the means of, using currency issuance and circulation, where the value of the currency is backed by a material reserve.

GOLD RESERVES

To substantiate the issue of digital gold, Copernicus Gold stores gold bullion in a vault at Freeport in Singapore.

Significantly, the speed at which transactions are made – the faster the circulation of funds – means that less gold is needed for the financial system’s operation.

Rapidly transferring payments offline (into bank accounts) decreases the need for circulating funds, which means less gold is needed and that the risk of failure to pay is avoided. Critically, this also relaxes the requirements of reserves of the commodity, such as gold, or any other commodity, as transactions that occur online take far less time to complete than those of existing payment systems.

In this sense, Copernicus Gold offers a revolutionary system to overcome Gresham’s Law, by providing a currency system that circulates gold.

BLOCKCHAIN

To enable operations, Copernicus Gold uses cutting edge, proprietary private blockchain to hold a transaction and financial instrument ledger with a powerful API that enables secure, transparent and safe real-time transactions at the speed of several hundred transactions per second, with the potential for greater speed.

The transactions are safe because there is no single transaction core in the blockchain. Instead, each node can potentially participate in processing transactions, which protects the system more than any system with a centralised core. Moreover, the authors of the system imposed the strictest known operation reliability and stability requirements on the system.

The company also offers open API that can be integrated into existing transaction systems and will permit fully automated payment settlements in digital gold.

SINGAPORE

Copernicus Gold chose to headquarter its operations in Singapore, as it is one of the world’s strictest jurisdictions for financial trade. The company operates as Copernicus Gold Singapore Pte. Ltd. which is registered as a stored value facility.

The CEO for Copernicus Gold Singapore Pte Ltd, Sergei Vozchikov says, “Copernicus Gold do not offer physical gold in exchange for payment. We do not issue loans or work in speculative markets, nor place client money in any tools. Instead, our system allows for transactions with two types of assets: digital gold and digital currencies (at present USD, EURO, SGD). The digital currency is linked to the currency kept in our bank accounts and similarly, the digital gold is secured by gold bullions kept in a vault in Singapore Freeport.”

“Moreover, your money is secure,” he adds, as “Being based in Singapore, we are required to identify our customers and conduct a financial monitoring procedure in full compliance with the requirements of the supervisory authorities.”

Copernicus Gold is available on the web, or as an iOS application for iPad and iPhone as well as an Android application for tablets and smartphones. The app can operate on any GSM phone as the system uses USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) to issue authentication codes.

* Information courtesy of Copernicus Gold *

New areas of Tech interest: Big Data, Security, Backup

I have been writing and covering on a few areas of technology inside my personal website/blog here for a number of years. Initially, it was mainly on consumer technology products, however, over the years, I had started venturing into B2B/Enterprise technology coverage, mainly Internet of Things (IoT) in a few areas/brands such as The Next Wave and Trends (from Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai)AXON by Greenwave Systems, Future Workplace with Dell and Journey to 5G with Singtel. It had been a very interesting technology adventure into the levels of B2B, thankful to those brands/companies who gave me the opportunities to connect, learn, cover and write about them.

Over the past year, I began to discover new areas of technology interest, while it is probably more applicable on a B2B level, it can also be applied at the B2C consumer level too. One of the areas was on big data and analysis, starting with this forum that I attended recently in June 2017 – “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare“. The next few interest technology fields that came up on my radar, following this particular forum that I attended were data protection, cybersecurity and backup.

My tech coverage journey in these few areas were all related together, I was working on building a basic starter personal cloud storage solution for my photography business/photographs storage/digital marketing/social media/documents, I got a WD My Cloud 4TB a few months back too.

Next up was on data protection and backup, Acronis then came into the picture. I saw and read about them around 1-2 years back, initially I didn’t know too much about them. Coincidentally, I got to know about them more in details and what they are doing, most recently with the launch of the Acronis True Image 2018 that I discovered more about their products and services in the areas of data protection and backup.

I am going to work on an article on the Acronis True Image 2018 for my small business, for my photography business/photographs storage and also my other work on digital marketing/social media and also my documents storage. Do keep a lookout and I would update with a link here when it is completed!

During the recent 2017 Singapore GP, I also learned about the partnership between Acronis and Scuderia Torro Rosso Formula 1 Racing Team! They are the FIRST Singapore company to sponsor a F1 racing team! It’s not just about sponsorship, they are using Acronis technology in motorsports! Being a motorsports and F1 fan and also an technology enthusiast myself, it’s like an omen for me to use Acronis technology solutions!

It would be a dream come true, if I can cover more in depth and share on Acronis technology in motorsports! I can bring my camera gears to racing tracks and garages! Motorsports + technology + photography sounds like what I like to do!

Stay tuned, hopefully, I can share more on these areas of technology, big data, data protection, cybersecurity and data backup.

Oh yes, maybe more new areas such Blockchain, Bitcoin.

Singtel launched Unlimited Data, Talktime & SMS Mobile Plans

Singtel mobile users alert! I have a great news to share with you! You now can have unlimited data, talk time and SMS mobile plans! For me, currently on Data X2 plan, this new plan is a very good consideration for Singtel mobile users!

With Singtel having the fastest mobile networks and with the most recent announcements on 2 of the latest smartphone brands available in the market, the Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, this would be an ideal time to get this new unlimited data, talk time and SMS mobile plan by Singtel!

Although I am not too sure if there is a need for me to have unlimited data plan at this time, having this option to choose unlimited data plan is definitely worth a consideration! This would be ideal for professionals who are on the move a lot outside and need the huge mobile data for their work.

Let me share with you more information on the new Singtel unlimited data, talk time and SMS mobile plans:

Press Release: 15th September 2017

Singtel today upped the ante with the launch of Singapore’s first mobile plans with unlimited local data, talktime and SMS/MMS available on the country’s fastest network that provides peak mobile data speeds of 500Mbps (1) nationwide.

From today, Singtel Combo 3, 6 and 12 mobile plans will be upgraded with unlimited talk time and SMS. Customers who sign up for these plans can enjoy unlimited local data with DATA X INFINITY, an add-on available at just S$39.90/month.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “We recognise that our customers want flexibility and control over their mobile plans. That’s why our DATA X 2 and DATA X 3 add-ons have been so well-received. And now with DATA X INFINITY as a further option, our customers can enjoy infinite possibilities for how they live, work and play. We’re pleased to offer our customers a truly unlimited mobile experience. With our nationwide network upgrade to 500Mbps supporting the latest iPhone 8 and iPhone X, as well as Samsung Note8, our customers can now enjoy the full potential of their devices at blazing speeds.’’

At launch, customers who subscribe to Combo 6 and 12 plans will enjoy a free data roaming plan each month. They can choose from any of Singtel’s extensive range of data roaming options of up to S$35 to stay connected while overseas.

Customers who subscribe to DATA X INFINITY will also have the option to share their data with up to three family members with a MobileShare supplementary plan, which is available at S$10.70/month per line.

For more information on the new Combo Plans and DATA X INFINITY, please visit www.singtel.com/combo and www.singtel.com/dataX.

Notes

(1) Available on Cat 11 and above mobile phones such as iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung Note8, Galaxy S8, S8+, S7 and S7 edge, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, LG G6, HTC U11 and more 

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Acronis True Image 2018

The business world today for working professionals today, the leisure/internet/social media world today for the rest of us, everyone of us are living in a more highly connected with internet and social media era. The number of users on the internet, social media platforms, social media apps and blogging, whether for work or leisure, they are huge and it will only get bigger and wider.

With the vast numbers of people using the internet and social media and this number will only get bigger, this poses a risk for the internet and social media, security and privacy. Cybersecurity (for your works, documents and data) is now an even more important and crucial area that requires immediate attention and action for businesses and also for individuals nowadays. The dangers of ransomware is getting more prevalent recently, anybody and everybody using the internet and social media is a target.

Running a small photography business (with home office as my administrative/back end work base while doing my assignments/projects/works outside), as well as being a social media enthusiast, doing some digital marketing work, an Information Technology (IT) enthusiast, cybersecurity has moved up the ladder on my topics that I am covering and writing more (my other tech interest topics are IoT, 5G networks, IT trends, fin-tech).

Let me tell you a true story, my own personal story on my journey in building up my data protection and backup system for my small photography business + social media + digital marketing + data protection workflow, it took me a bit longer than expected (1 year+), partially procrastinating, partially not knowing where/how to look for and start. My friend HP from Hpility SG (where I currently have a working partnership with him and his blog-portal) introduced me to Acronis, I shared my requirements on what I needed and he mentioned to me their Acronis True Image suits what I need and want for my current setup.

Thereafter, I knew more about Acronis and their Acronis True Image backup software program. I am setting up my Acronis True Image 2018 and I hope to share my stories, experiences in the Acronis True Image 2018 setup with my own personal cloud storage.

Today I am going to share more information and details on the Acronis True Image 2018, for those planning to find a backup and data protection software program for themselves on an individual basis or home office basis:

Press Release – 28th August 2017

Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection for business and consumers, today introduced Acronis True Image 2018. The new release includes major updates the program’s backup and recovery capabilities, and is the first personal backup software to incorporate artificial intelligence-based technology designed to actively protect data against ransomware.

“As the first company to offer full image backup for consumers, Acronis pioneered intelligent backup for home use,” said Serguei Beloussov, co-founder, and CEO of Acronis. “Acronis True Image 2018 continues that tradition as the first and only personal backup software that uses artificial intelligence to defend consumers against one of the fastest growing threats to their data.”

By combining the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based ransomware defense, called Acronis Active Protection™, with a new generation of enhanced backup and recovery capabilities such as active disk cloning and automated WinPE boot media creation, Acronis True Image 2018 represents a new standard of “intelligent backup” for individuals, families and small businesses.

Reliable backup and recovery

During a survey of Acronis customers during July 2017, 95 percent of respondents said they choose and recommend Acronis True Image because the backups are so reliable. The 2018 release improves on those core backup and recovery capabilities even more, with enhancements such as:

  • Active disk cloning: Users can create an exact replica of an active Windows system without stopping and restarting using bootable media, making migration to a faster or larger disk even easier.
  • An updated media builder: Automatically creates boot media for a WinPE environment, so users can quickly resolve driver configuration issues and recover their systems to the same or new hardware.
  • Continuous backup to the cloud: Users can update their backups as they work on files while securely storing an off-site version in the cloud.
  • Virtual drive conversion: Users can test the recoverability of the full image backups, or run their system in a Hyper-V virtual environment to test various applications without risking the primary system, and move complete system image as a virtual drive to another computer.
  • Faster incremental backups: Up to three-times faster with new Changed-Block Tracker technology that tracks image changes in real time.
  • Automatic mobile backup to NAS devices: More than a quarter of Acronis users have network-attached storage (NAS) at home. Now they don’t have to think about backing up a mobile device, since the process starts as soon as the mobile device connects to the same Wi-Fi as the NAS.

Acronis True Image 2018 also addresses the needs of the next generation of users by expanding its support for social media with automatic backups of Instagram accounts, including photos, comments and statistics, such as the number of likes, tags or comments a post gets.

Easy control

A new visual interface addresses the preferences of 83% of Acronis customers who reported that they want more information and insights into their backups. Graphically displaying backup activity and statistics, it allows users to manage their backups at a glance – including how much data they have stored, the types of files in storage, and the status of backups.

Secure data protection

The ability to restore a system or individual files is critical following a ransomware attack. Acronis True Image 2018 not only makes recovery automatic, it takes the initial protection a step further by preventing ransomware from corrupting a user’s data in the first place.

Using machine learning models, Acronis Active Protection recognizes unusual patterns of file access. These models are generated in Acronis’ dedicated Cloud AI infrastructure, which processes data from hundreds of thousands of malicious and legitimate processes to build those models. Those models are incorporated directly into Acronis Active Protection, allowing Acronis True Image 2018 to protect a system’s data independently, without the need for an internet connection.

When Active Protection detects unusual activity, it checks the process using both heuristics analysis as well as those models of expected and unexpected behavior. If the process is identified as potentially malicious, Acronis True Image 2018 alerts the user of the suspicious activity.

With real-time monitoring, Acronis Active Protection verifies all processes so approved activities are allowed to run, while potentially dangerous behavior is detected and stopped. Then, if any files are encrypted during a ransomware attack, Acronis True Image 2018 automatically restores those files from backup.

While cybercriminals increasingly target backup files to keep users from restoring their system without paying the ransom, Acronis’ technology specifically defends backup files as well as the original data. Ransomware damages are expected to top $5 billion this year, and Acronis’ unique self-defense of backup files is Acronis True Image 2018’s way to ensure a user’s data remains untouched.

More than 60 percent of Acronis customers surveyed said they worry about ransomware. A new Security Dashboard gives users complete visibility over Acronis Active Protection so you can be reassured that their data is protected. It lets them track the number of processes that have been flagged as potentially dangerous, see which ones were blocked, and manage a whitelist of trusted applications.

Pricing and Availability

There are three editions of Acronis True Image 2018 available to accommodate customer use and preferences. All versions include Acronis Active Protection against ransomware and cover an unlimited number of mobile devices.

  • Standard is a perpetual license that is offered without any cloud storage or access to cloud-based features for customers who prefer to store their data on local drives only. Pricing starts at 69.99 SGD for one computer.
  • Advanced is a one-year subscription that includes 250 GB of cloud storage and access to all cloud-based features. Pricing starts at 69.99 SGD per year for one computer.
  • Premium is a one-year subscription that includes exclusive blockchain-based data certification and electronic signature capabilities, as well as 1 TB of cloud storage. Pricing starts at $99.99 per year for one computer.

Advanced and Premium subscribers can purchase additional cloud storage within the application. Advanced Licenses can upgrade to a maximum of 500 GB. If more storage is needed, Advanced users can upgrade to a Premium License, which offers cloud storage of up to 5 TB.

Instagram backup launches today in limited markets and will be available worldwide on September 4, 2017

Acronis True Image 2018 is available for purchase at acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/ and through major software resellers and retail stores worldwide.

NOTE: For small business owners who need to protect more than five computers, or companies that have multiple workstations and servers, Acronis Backup 12.5 scales to protect thousands of computers and provides convenient tools for group management of environments of any complexity. Details are available at acronis.com/en-us/business/backup/.

* Information courtesy of Acronis Asia Pte Ltd *

1000th Post: In memory of my Big Auntie

This is my 1,000th post on my personal website/blog, a milestone for me, in my writing journey here, mainly in the topics of technology news and reviews, personal stories, personal development, business topics and areas of personal interest. Initially, I wasn’t sure what topic or theme would suit my milestone 1,000th post because for the past 4-5 months, I was hiding a lot of emotions, hurt and despair behind my normal looking face.

My milestone 1,000th post is dedicated to the memory of my Big Auntie (da jiu mu), my mother’s eldest sister-in-law. Today marks the 35th day since her passing, who lost her fight to cancer. My Big Auntie was a family member that I am very close to, she took care of me when I was just a 1+ months old toddler until I finished secondary 4. She was just like another mother to me, who loved me, nagged at me and of course, the occasional quarrels due to differences in opinions, views and what I wanted to do.

My Big Auntie will definitely have an influence on me over the years that she took care of me, I do pick up some of her traits and style. While I may not cook as skilful and delicious cuisines like my Big Auntie, her cooking skills and knowledge helped me in my cooking when I was studying in Australia.

She also like her things and home to be neat and tidy, I am probably a big culprit, messy and full of things at home. Her nagging and scolding of my home and room will now only be a distant memory in my heart and soul. Over time, my room did change and it’s much better in terms of tidy and neatness, I am speaking the truth here!

When I heard the shocking news from my cousin a few months back that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, I was totally devastated and totally shell-shocked. Deep inside me, I know it’s going to be a very very difficult stage with probably of 6 months time left, maybe shorter than 6 months, maybe a chance of a longer period than 6 months.

During the past 4 months, I was going through a very very difficult time, the emotions, hurt, despair and I wasn’t able to do much more for her. This period was also very very difficult for my uncle, cousins and nieces. No words can describe this journey, no words, enough said.

Very few friends, only a very select few know about what was happening, I just looked normal like always, maybe just more moody and bad tempered. I was hiding a lot of emotions, sadness and hurt behind my face. That was also a period whereby there were not many articles being published here on my website/blog.

My Big Auntie lost her fight to cancer, about 4 months after her diagnosis. It was so painful to watch her suffer and while I am very sad and hurt that she is no longer around, it’s also a relief for her that she doesn’t have to suffer pain anymore.

35 days have passed since her passing. I finally managed to pen down my thoughts and feelings, without going into too much details of the past 4 months. This was also a kind of relief for me, while I am still hurting inside my heart., writing and sharing it out here, helps to relieve some of the pain, hurt and sadness.

I lost my paternal grandmother to old age in November 2016, the matriarch of my family, I also lost another senior relative, my grand-auntie in July 2017 and also a cousin in May 2017. This had been a very tough and emotionally draining period since November 2016 while I was building/starting up a small photography business.

To my da jiu mu, my Big Auntie, you will never be forgotten, for everything that you did for me since I was born. I hereby promise you that I am going to make my room and home (along with my parents taking action to clean up the home also) even more clean, neat and tidy, on top of getting my business stable and on track, then you do not to worry about me from the heavens above.

For this special 1,000th milestone on my personal website/blog, I dedicate this post to you, my Big Auntie, in your memory and legacy that you leave behind for us.

999th Post: Happy SG52

I was initially planning to write this post after SG52 National Day Parade on 9th August 2017. Things didn’t go to plan with work, planning and disruptions for the month of August, I am also reaching my own personal milestone for my personal blog/website here, this is my 999th post and it has a special theme to it.

Celebrating SG52, Singapore’s 52nd birthday in 2017, I was looking back at our growth, changes and challenges as far as I can remember. In most recent years, the world is facing some huge, fast and furious disruptions and changes to how they work and live. There were times whereby the pace was so relentless that some segments of the community might not be able to catch up. Running a small photography business at the start of year 2017, coupled with my reading, observance and analysis of business, finance, economics topics, I had a big taste of the difficulties in doing a small business in a highly competitive world faced with market saturation.

There are a number of areas/topics that are affecting and impacting us, from economics, industrial, business, technology, sociology, the following topics are just close to my heart and brains.

Technology Innovation and Disruptions

As an avid consumer of technology products, a tech lover, I have seen first hand on how innovation and disruptions took place over the past ten years, been there and still inside there. These two matters are really huge, it can help us to grow or it have (if not might) replace us (partially and hopefully not totally replacing us) in what we are currently doing, in our work, in our leisure life.

Technology innovations have also make us more lazy and stupid, that is not good and it’s dangerous for us.

Complacency

This issue to me is something that strikes a deep concern and fear. Complacency affects everyone of us at least some points in our life/studies/career, a very dangerous situation to be in. Once we fall from it, we have to pick ourselves up and make a come back again.

It is a very worrying issue when we seem (or are already very) complacent from where we are right now, oblivious of the regional and world situations.

More graciousness or more selfish?

This topic was brought up recently during a kopitiam lah kopi session a.k.a coffeeshop chit chat with a very old classmate from my primary school days. I have seen more groups and societies starting and doing many initiatives for different groups/causes in the society.

At the same time, I have also observed more selfish and rude actions/behaviours in society, happening all around us.

Are we more graciousness or more selfish? Are we growing more towards on both extreme ends of this spectrum?

Situational awareness – microeconomics and macroeconomics

How are of our situational awareness in our domestic front (microeconomics) and regional/international front (macroeconomics)? Do we know the competition and challenges that we are facing domestially and internationally?

Or we having a don’t care, don’t want to know mindset?

Stagnation

Have we stagnated? Looking at the various industries, this is not going to be a clear cut answer, probably some industries have stagnated, some are doing pretty alright, which are the ones to expand and grow for the future of Singapore?

On a personal basis, have we gone on to improving ourselves in our skills and knowledge? Do we want to cross learn other subject areas to improve our overall self, not just for professional career, for your own personal self improvement and enrichment? Having a paper qualification might not account for too much after some time in the workforce.

Final thoughts and views

What I shared and written above, are just the tip of the iceberg. We are facing many many more issues in other different areas that are not brought up here in my article.

It takes two hands to clap, the entire Singapore has to stand up and be part of the change, innovation and action. There are many many many things to do and it must not be done by one side or group of people only. Only when everybody is united together can we ensure the future of Singapore. The theme for National Day Parade 2017 is One Nation Together, is perfect for the article that I have written here.

While I count my blessings and be thankful for what we have here in Singapore, I also reflect, think and plan for the future of Singapore. We need to innovate, adapt and change for the future of Singapore. By everyone of us coming together to do the above, innovate, adapt and change, in their own respective fields, expertise and interests, we can continue to grow for the future of Singapore.

Time to find opportunities/growth in an era of lesser opportunities/growth.

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Singtel to deploy Massive MIMO technology at special events

The journey to 5G by Singtel continues, it’s shaping up nicely and progressing towards reaching the 5G standards. Singtel recently announced that they would be deploying massive MIMO technology at special events in Singapore, starting with National Day Parade 2017, taking place very soon on 9th August 2017!

For those who regularly visited National Day Parades over the years, whether at the parade ground itself or in the nearby vicinity, we would encountered and experienced no mobile network coverage due to the huge number of people in the area. With the deployment of the massive MIMO technology, that would relieve the issues that mobile users faced previously. I am looking forward to Singapore reaching the 5G technology standards, it would be very helpful and useful for businesses and consumers.

Let me share with you more information on Singtel to deploy massive MIMO technology at special events from the press release information:

Singtel announced plans to deploy Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology commercially on its LTE-Advanced mobile network, to enhance mobile data speed experience by up to 200% at special events for its customers. A precursor to 5G technology, Massive MIMO is an advanced solution used to boost network capacity in highly dense environments.

Singtel will team up with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE to deploy Massive MIMO technology at the Marina Bay area. For a start, Singtel will roll out the network boost at the upcoming National Day celebrations, with other deployments planned for the Singapore F1 Night Race and the New Year countdown event.

Over 150,000 people are expected at the Marina Bay area to celebrate National Day. Singtel mobile customers gathered there will be able to enjoy a better data experience as they share their photos and videos of the exciting performances and fireworks on social media.

Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, said: “On the joyous occasion of our National Day celebrations, Singtel is pleased to be pairing our newly-acquired 2.5GHz spectrum with Massive MIMO technology to expand our network capacity and offer our customers an enhanced mobile experience at this and other special events. We look forward to rolling out new technologies and innovative solutions to support the anticipated growth in mobile data.”

Globally, large crowds gathered at events, such as concerts and festivals, use high volumes of data to share their experiences via real-time videos on social media. This extraordinary behaviour generates a dramatic spike in network traffic, presenting a challenge for operators to provide fast and consistent data speeds.

Singtel has identified Massive MIMO as one of the solutions to the problem. Singtel will use Massive MIMO base stations featuring a large array of 64 antennas that improve spectral efficiency and cell capacity using innovations in radio technologies. The innovative antenna system channels signals to users’ specific locations instead of broadcasting across a geographical area. This multiplies the number of data paths from the cellular base stations, thus increasing network capacity and improving user experience.

Singtel provides Singapore’s fastest nationwide mobile data speeds at 450Mbps and recently launched 800Mbps speeds in the high-traffic Orchard Road area. In addition to having the island’s widest outdoor 4G coverage as rated by IMDA1 for 10 consecutive quarters, Singtel is also ranked the fastest telco in Singapore by global metrics leader, Ookla.

For more information on Singtel’s mobile data speeds, please visit here.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Singtel launched an integrated multimedia campaign to inspire Singaporeans

National Day 2017 is just round the corner, it’s arriving soon, 9th August 2017. The celebrations are starting to get into full swing, building up towards National Day 2017, when we celebrate Singapore’s 52nd birthday.

In conjunction with National Day celebrations, Singtel launched an integrated multimedia campaign to inspire Singaporeans to continue and keep up the Singaporean spirit, the Majulah spirit to unite and propel Singaporeans together towards being bigger and better.

What is this integrated campaign all about? Let me share the news and information:

This is going to be a month long campaign, paying tribute to Singaporeans from all walks of life, who have, in their own ways, contributed to the making of the nation. It features Singaporeans from different backgrounds coming together as one nation to seize opportunities, overcome challenges and keep on striving.

“National Day is a celebration of our progress as one people every 9 August when Singaporeans fill up with national pride and patriotism,” says Ms Lian Pek, Vice President of Group Strategic Communications and Brand. “But often times, the spirit of National Day tends to fizzle out shortly after. We hope our campaign will serve as an awareness ribbon of sorts to gently remind ourselves to keep flying the Singapore flag even after the birthday party.”

Jointly developed with BBH, the Singtel campaign will roll out 12 print ads in the run up to 9 August, featuring portraits of Singaporeans and their aspirations on banners and posters at bus stops across the island and on social media. Well-known photographer and instagrammer Chia Aik Beng was enlisted to capture a representative spectrum of society and their different hopes for the country. A customized National Day frame (https://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes) will be made available on Facebook for users to download and partake in the celebratory greetings. Singtel will also release a video, dedicated to Singaporeans’ go-getting spirit.

Powering On Sports

The second part of this month-long campaign will feature Singapore’s athletes heading to the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur from August 19 to 30 in their quest for sporting glory for the nation.

“There’s nothing like having our athletes represent Singapore at regional or international sporting meets to bring Singaporeans together,” says Ms Pek. “We see the Games as a natural extension of our National Day campaign as ultimately, it’s a very tangible reminder that we all have to raise our game to keep Singapore ahead of the pack.”

Supporting Team Singapore at the upcoming SEA Games is part of Singtel’s ongoing partnership with the Singapore National Olympic Council to develop the local sporting scene. Under this recently renewed partnership that started as far back as 2012, Singtel will help fund the training of the nation’s athletes to promote and develop sports in Singapore.

The ‘Power On’ campaign will feature six partner athletes in content that aims to promote a sporting culture and inspire Singaporeans during major athletic events. They are: Joseph Schooling (Swimming), Loh Zhi (Water Polo), Mark Leong (Water Ski), Nur Alfian (Silat), Shanti Pereira (Track and Field) and Shayna Ng (Bowling).

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

I personally know Aik Beng and I am looking forward to view his wonderful and powerful photographs that he would be sharing for this integrated campaign by Singtel.

Counting down to Singapore’s 52nd birthday party celebration on 9th August 2017. Let’s also continue and keep up the Majulah spirit!