1st December 2017 – Time to reflect and plan

Time flies, too fast too furious. In the blink of an eye, 11 months have gone by in the year 2017 and today is 1st December 2017. As I start counting down to the end of 2017 and I will be very happy to bring a closure to year 2017. For those who have been following my updates via my article posts here, thank you for following, reading and supporting me along this journey.

This journey that I embarked on, was much much more tough and difficult than I prepared myself for. Behind all the scenes, I hide my pain, sorrow, stress and pressure from some friends, some people. Having to deal and handle people who passed on (6 people in a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 if you had been following and reading my stories here), a very emotionally and mentally draining life experience and journey.

Taking the first step to reflect year 2017, wrapping up year 2017 and planning ahead for year 2018. Changes will take place, new strategies and directions. While it might not be too private and confidential, it will not be too openly shared, might not even be shared at all.

One of the areas that I am working on is my computer workstations setup for year 2018

  • Photography workstation
  • Business / Admin / Digital / Social Media marketing workstation
  • Trading / Forex investing workstation
  • Tablet
  • Photography printer
  • SOHO printer
  • Monitor (For photo editing and trading)

Business development directions and strategies, it’s still in the thought and planning process (some preliminary, some advanced, some still thinking further ahead). I am most likely not (and unlikely) going to share much into them. Not so much of competitors or copying, it’s more of keeping the “big loud noises” around me out of my ears, I need anti-noise cancellation in-ear monitors.

Next year 2018, I am going to upgrade myself, gain more new skills and knowledge, looking into these few areas:

  • Advanced drone flying
  • Learning videography and short film making
  • Improving and learning photography genres that I haven’t embark on
  • Learning Adobe Photoshop

There are many people out there whose full time job is to judge and criticise other people, telling other people what to do, how to do, when they themselves are not in the other person’s shoes and situation, as well as, thinking that they have/are successful and more knowledgable than others when they are not and they have not.

Why can’t we spend the time to upgrade and improve on ourselves, knowledge, skills and experience, instead of spendng time to judge and criticise people?

Imagine a society with citizens constantly and willingly upgrading their skills and knowledge. We worry less about disruption and displacement. Together, we can make a difference to the future ahead in many different ways possible.

Alright, it’s time to wrap up, finish my backlogged technology related articles, get my photographs uploaded into my Flickr, 500px and Tan Geng Hui Photography portfolio websites.

In our current world and society norms today, if you are still reading up till this last paragraph, thank you for taking the time to read my article that I wrote. Considering our attention time span is probably a minute or less, it really takes something to read an article online (or a hard copy book) today.

20th November – Remembrance + Other Updates

Today on the 20th November 2017, it’s a day of significance and rememberance for me.

Remembrance Day

Exactly 1 year ago on 20th November 2016, my paternal grandmother passed away at a ripe old age of 99 years. My matriarch had always been the pillar and foundation of the extended family, someone that I had the utmost respect and admiration. Her sharpness, observations, along with her meticulous nature, were some of the life skills set that she had passed on down to her future generations, I am one of those that inherited those traits of my grandmother!

While her anniversary will be based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar (early December for year 2017), I used both calendars to remember her and what she did for the entire family under leadership and guidance. While it had been a year, we all missed her.

Other Updates

Collaboration project – Love At Second Sight

For the past few weeks, I was involved in a collaboration shoot with my friends Tiffany and Peps, for their Love At Second Sight short films project. I was shooting behind the scenes and another segment on lifestyle product shoot. Shot over a 4 days period in a two weeks time frame, I had a great time, tiring at the end of the day, managed to capture some really nice photos, for the short films, on behind the scenes, for marketing and publicity. Keep a look out for Love At Second Sight short film on Tiffany and Peps FB page, as well as my FB page for more updates!

Editorial Coverage

Editorial coverage for some of the events that I attended, in technology, lifestyle and musuems events, my coverage had been slower than I would like it to be. I promise to get my backlogged editorial coverage published and shared in the coming 2 weeks. Thank you to all for your understanding.

95th Dinner Anniversary Celebrations

95 years is not a small milestone and I am very happy to be part of this celebrations and this special family, the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group, along with my old boys and girls club a.k.a Dragon Chapter. I hope to share more photographs and stories soon, it’s just a small shout out first! 95 not out, next monumental milestone, 100! Onward Dragon Scouts!

Marketing, branding, publicity, partnerships and collaborations

An era of disruptions, more to come in the years ahead, running a business has changed, my personal opinion and view is the traditional ways of running a business may not be that applicable, adapt, change, disrupt or get left behind in this fast and furious pace. Redefining, reorganising and restructuring my business, building up more partnerships and collaborations with different groups of friends.

Some inner most private thoughts

It had been a very tough two years for me, if you had been reading my stories and updates from 2016 till today in 2017. All these life experiences shaped my in many different ways and aspects. Losing 6 people from your life within a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 had quite a big impact on me. At times, when friends were celebrating their happy milestones, big travel holidays, delicious expensive restaurant food on a weekly basis, I just kept quiet and hide away.

Running a small business in this year, are more long long stories to share, some of my stories on running a small business, you might have read in my updates/stories along the way. I leave this segment for my future story telling and sharing.

As a photographer, I faced quite a number of times of unpleasant comments, remarks, sometimes dislike, sometimes asking u along the line of “when are u going to fail”. To receive credits and acknowledgement from friends, partners and supporters for the photography works that I do is a blessing.

There are times when not everything is about $$, it’s about giving thanks, gratitude, giving back and pay it forward! Giving back to my alma mater Dragon Scout Group is one of them.

Tough times never last, tough people do. A constant reminder to myself, be thankful and grateful for everything that I have at this point in time, stay humble and grounded. Keep learning and improving.

Audio House – 1st Ever Completely Cashless Showroom in SG

Today on the 11th November 2017 (11/11/17), at 1111 hrs, I am going to share a news on Singapore’s first-ever completely cashless electronics showroom in Singapore, as well as a new launch promotion starting today for 10 days from 11th November to 20th November 2017. Visit and check out Audio House for a Happy 1111 shopping!

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce Audio House:

  • A homegrown electronics chain that has been in business for over 20 years. They were the first to offer “7 day Money-back guarantee” in 2004.
  • In year 2017, Audio House had made a bold move and  they are the first in the market, to challenge the market (both online and offline competitors) with this new concept – to offer electronics at up to 20% lower than the lowest prices in Singapore.
  • In a short summary – Audio House promises a price match with any competitor’s price and an additional extra $20 cash back with every $100 spent storewide.
  • Audio House is also the first in Singapore to go completely cashless, they will also revamp their entire showroom and payment system to bring forth a whole new shopping experience to their customers with a completely cashless payment concept.
  • In August 2016, Audio House downsized to just one outlet at Bendemeer Road, closing down their 50,000 sq ft store at Liang Court. With a lower operating cost and a revamped business model, converting its only flagship store at Bendemeer into a showroom offering 100% cashless payment solutions, customers of Audio House stand to benefit.
  • With these moves, Audio House is expecting to lower its operating costs significantly, in turn passing these savings on to its customers. Thus allowing Audio House to offer electronics at up to 20% lower than the lowest prices in Singapore.

New Launch Promotion

For 10 days from 11 to 20 November 2017, Audio House will be giving out free $100 vouchers to all new members who sign up at Audiohouse.com.sg. These vouchers will be given in $20 denominations, where these new members can offset each $20 voucher with every $100 spent. This $100 voucher is as good as cash as most items are easily a few hundred dollars. Audio House is looking forward to allow new customers to understand and experience the new cashless concept at Audio House.

100% Cashless Payment System

Customers can visit Audio House’s showroom to check out the latest home electronics, touch and feel them, as well as speak to the sales promoters about the specifications and more. After deciding on their purchases, customers can then make purchases via Audio House’s e-commerce platform, with arrangements of delivery and payments also completely done online.

High Efficiency with Newly Revamped Automated POS System

Audio House has invested around $500K over 3 years to create a whole new e-commerce platform that provides information on sales promotions, stock availability, delivery and more, with information feedback from its back-end system. With this platform newly launched, Audio House expects to increase staff efficiency and productivity as stocks management are more efficiently done, syncing both online, back-end as well as delivery service directly. Customers looking to shop online can also expect a more efficient and accurate experience, as stock availability, prices and promotions are reflected in real time.

Audio House challenges the market + offers up to 20% rebate

If a customer finds the same product cheaper elsewhere (be it online or offline in Singapore), they can bring the photo proof to Audio House showroom where Audio House will match that price immediately. On top of matching the lowest prices, customers are given up to 20% rebate. Check out the examples below.

Example 1: PHILIPS 49PUT5801 49” 4K UHD SLIM LED TV (Usual Price $1,099)

Audio House price (lowest in the market, else the lowest price will be matched): $698 On top of that, customers will receive $120 cash vouchers rebate after their purchase. These $120 cash vouchers are given in $20 denominations, and they offset $20 with every $100 spent in their next purchase.

Example 2: Dyson AM07 Tower Fan (Usual Price $779)

Audio House price (lowest in the market, else the lowest price will be matched): $485. If customers already have vouchers in their account e-wallet, they can directly offset $80 cash vouchers with this purchase, and pay only $405 for this product.

Audio House Information

Location: Audio House @ Bendemeer Road, 72 Bendemeer Road, Luzerne Building, #01-20/21/22, Singapore 339941

New Opening Hours: 12:30pm to 9:00pm

Website: www.audiohouse.com.sg 

* Information and details courtesy of Audio House and Brand Cellar *

 

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.

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 *

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!

Looking back at H1 2017

Time flies so fast sometimes, today marks the start of the second half of year 2017. Exactly a year ago, I also wrote something similar, with the title “Looking back at H1 2016” and there were so much anguish, hurt and disappointment at that point in time. I was down and stuck in the bottom of a rut, recovering and slowly getting myself out of all the things that happened to me.

It had not been easy at all, it was a very difficult period for me, I learnt a lot of life lessons and lessons taught by the society and economy. Thus, my route to recovery wasn’t as fast as I would like it to be. Taking small steps at a time to get myself back on track, I met with the loss of extended family members and close friends. I got a little bit shaken and deviated off slightly on my recovery journey.

Today, as I looked back on the first half of 2017, there wasn’t so much of anguish, hurt and disappointment. Instead, it’s a physically and emotionally tiring journey since I decided to start my own small business in photography services, a journey that maybe 80% or 90% of the friends/people around you that will not step in, whether to start a small business or enter into the photography business industry.

Being a one person business owner / photographer / story teller/ accountant/ administrative / marketing / social media / public relations, there are times whereby no words can further describe everything that you have to carry on the shoulders. Basically, I have to do everything myself until the business is stable.

Moreover, with the amount of disruptions and technological changes to our living and economy, things are constantly changing, sometimes too fast and too furious. On the other hand, changes and disruptions are incoming in the months and years ahead. Marketing directions change, styles and engagements change.

Over the past 6 months of year 2017, it had been a journey of building up the foundations and processes. Thus these affect earning revenue, not to mention how tough and challenging the current economic climate is and in the near future. Even though, the business is still in its infancy stage, I am trying my best to get it up and flying high.

Partnerships and collaborations, are two areas that I am looking at for the future, in this modern world of disruptions and changes, businesses need to help out each other more than ever before. Although not all businesses may see it this way, due to competition or products/services similarity, this would be helpful and ideal for different businesses to collaborate and partnership together in handling projects, business deals. This is the real Win-Win situation for all, helping each other to grow and expand their businesses and networks.

During the past 6 months, while there weren’t anger, anguish or disappointment that clouded me in H1 of 2016, this period had been at times very exhausting and stressful because I am running a one person small business. I am grateful for the help and support some of my friends gave me, from accounting/book keeping advice, business operations to networking.

I am also more appreciative of the surroundings, from family, partnerships, collaborations and friendships. I may not have the wealth and money, I always tell myself and remind myself to be down to earth, be humble and appreciative of the family, relatives and friends (only those that deserve your love, friendship and appreciation) around you. The loss of two relatives from my extended family in the past 8 months shaped me up most recently.

Life is precious, time is limited, treasure your loved ones. As the saying goes, YOLO ~ You Only Live Once, therefore, giving it all out and striving ahead. Whether I succeed or fail, the very least is that I have taken the first step since January 2017 where many many are afraid and will not even take the first step.

The first half of 2017 is now over, the second half of 2017 starts now. My journey is still a very very steep mountain to climb. Taking step by step, even if the future remains uncertain on all fronts, I must still continue moving forward, learning new knowledge and skills, gaining more experiences.

During a recent chat with my friend, she gave me this quote:

“Keep Calm and Keep Shooting”

Indeed very true and this brought me back to where I started off this year, why and what I wanted to start this journey.

Now to continue adding more photography works to photography business portfolio website at Tan Geng Hui Photography.