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    If you consider yourself a tech-savvy person, think again.

    Just because you use a computer everyday doesn't mean you're good at digital skills. Well, at least that's what Singapore's tertiary students are guilty of.

    A study titled Perception and Reality, conducted by International Computer Driving License (ICDL) Asia, found that tertiary students here think highly of their digital literacy in basic application software, overestimating their actual information and communications technology (ICT) literacy standards, reported TODAY and thetechrevolutionist.com.

    Presented at the ICDL Digital Literacy Day at the Singapore Management University (SMU) yesterday (July 20), results showed that over 90 per cent of its participants perceived their digital skills as "fair" to "excellent".

    Photo: ICDL

    However, their actual competency standard, which stood at 55 per cent, fell below the global passing standard mark of 75 per cent.

    Participants of the study include 373 Singaporean students aged between 20 and 22 years old who are receiving education from eight higher education institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, SMU, Kaplan Singapore, and PSB Academy.

    A 20-question online practical test was administered during the study testing students on several skills including web browsing, file and data management, word processing, and spreadsheets.

    These modules were mapped to the Workforce Skills Qualifications framework under the Ministry of Education.

    Results revealed that students perceived their proficiency levels for word processing and spreadsheets at 68 per cent and 60 per cent respectively, but their actual skills stood at 45 per cent and 35 per cent respectively - way below the global passing standard of 75 per cent.

    Photo: ICDL

    While many higher education institutions have implemented measures to help students increase their digital literacy, such as SMU which require their business students to complete a spreadsheet course, the study results show that those efforts have not been enough.

    Photo: ICDL

    "Students cannot completely rely on obtaining such skills from their universities," said Ms Swapna Gottipati, 41, assistant professor of information systems at SMU.

    "They need to go and get skills from other places - through internships, projects, workshops or additional short courses," she added.

    ongymm@sph.com.sg

    Friday, July 21, 2017 - 19:15
    Others
    With the increasing importance of digital literacy in the modern workforce, it is worrying if tertiary students are not equipped with the relevant ICT skills - and it's worse if they think too highly of their own tech abilities.

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    What makes Singapore our home?

    This is the question that Starhub posed when it released its video for the 2017 Racial Harmony Day, titled #RegardlessofColour, today (July 21).

    According to Marketing Interactive, the video is part of a series of annual National Day campaigns, and will run for four weeks on StarHub’s social media platforms as well as on StarHub TV and GV cinemas.

    Blk J DDB and Freeflow Productions were involved in the making of this campaign, it reported.

    on Facebook

    What makes Singapore our home? Some say it’s our food. Some, the way we speak. But it isn’t in these things that we...

    Posted by StarHub on Thursday, 20 July 2017

    Presented in a monochromatic format, the video features snippets of Singaporeans of different races going about their daily lives in harmony.

    Photo: Starhub

     The video also plays the voice-over of Martin Luther King's legendary speech "I have a dream."

    Photo: Starhub

    The video ends with the following statement, "What the world dreams of, we are blessed to call it home.

    "Thank you, Singapore for making our home, home." 

    Reactions to the video have been very positive.

    The video is timely as debates about race have been dominating social media recently such as racism accusations towards Jack Neo, and the case of Caitanya Tan who became (in)famous due to her video on the Millenials of Singapore Facebook page where she talked about her unique name (the video has since been removed).

    Photo: Starhub

    Despite the debates, sometimes we forget that racial unity like the one we observe in Singapore is neither common nor easily achieved.

    And Starhub has now helped to push that reminder to embrace each other for who we are and not for the race we belong to.

    As aptly put by Martin Luther King: "I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they are not judged by the colour of their skins. But by the content of their character."

    akosasi@sph.com.sg

    Friday, July 21, 2017 - 18:47

    More about

    Racial Harmony Day
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    Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:56

    More about

    Muji
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    Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 09:13
    Luxury boutiques continue to thrive at MBS despite S'pore’s brick-and-mortar retail slump – here’s why
    Others

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    The living room is the heart of the home where family and friends spend time together, watching TV, movies, and listening to music.

    For some, a home theatre may mean bulky hardware, messy cabling, and the hassle of assembling the system.

    But setting up your own home entertainment system nowadays is not as daunting as you may think.

    We visited Harvey Norman's Parkway Parade Superstore - which has recently expanded to the ground floor and offers furniture, bedding, and a new games hub - and got some useful tips from retail manager Mr Derrick Ee, who has 17 years of experience in the business.

    Before you start shopping though, think about how much you want to spend on your home entertainment system. There is a wide range of audiovisual equipment that suits different needs and budgets.

    And if you're not sure how to allocate your budget, a TV will usually take up 70 per cent of a shopper's budget, while the sound system takes up 30 per cent, Mr Ee said.

    Don't forget to jot down the measurements of your living room too, as its size will affect your choices when selecting a suitable TV and sound system.

    What makes up a home entertainment system?

    The basic setup comprises a TV, sound system, and Blu-ray player.

    Displays

    Photo: AsiaOne

    In the home setting, a high-definition TV is the key to an immersive cinematic experience.

    When selecting a TV, one of the first things people look at is the screen size.

    But is a bigger TV always better?

    This depends on the distance between the screen and the viewer, Mr Ee said.

    With a viewing distance of 2.5 metres, you can select a display of up to 55 inches. He recommends a minimum display size of 55 inches for most homes.

    While screen sizes are getting bigger, the profiles of TVs are becoming thinner.

    In some of the newest TV models, they are so slim and weigh just a fraction of what other models do, that they can be mounted onto the wall using magnets instead of metal brackets.

    Some people also find that bezel-less TVs give them a better viewing experience.

    Another important factor to consider is picture quality.

    This is where screen resolution (number of pixels) - comes into play. The higher the resolution, the more details can be displayed on the screen.

    A full HD TV has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 2 million pixels, while the increasingly popular Ultra HD / 4K TV features a resolution of 3840 x 2160, with 8 million pixels.

    For great image quality, you may also want to consider getting a TV with the latest display technologies such as OLED and QLED.

    OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) lights up individual pixels which give the picture excellent contrast.

    QLED (Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode) can reproduce true colour - 100 per cent of the colour that can be seen by the naked eye.

    Meanwhile, TVs with HDR (high dynamic range) capabilities can also produce better contrast and richer colours.

    Smart TVs also come with built-in Wifi that can connect to the Internet to download and stream digital content such as videos, games and even social media.

    Although streaming content is gaining popularity, the overall quality hasn't quite caught up with what Blu-ray players can deliver.

    Soundbars

    Photo: AsiaOne

    They're small, sleek, and enhance the sound quality of your TV.

    With their minimalist designs and user-friendliness, soundbars have taken over the place of traditional surround sound systems which are known for taking up space and involving lots of wires.

    Soundbars are all-in-one speaker systems, often wireless and paired with a subwoofer.

    They produce virtual surround sound that is comparable to the audio experience you can get from regular surround sound systems.

    And with a price range from $199 to $2,599, how do you choose a suitable soundbar for your home?

    Matching the length of the soundbar to the size of the TV can help create a good audiovisual experience, Mr Ee advised. For instance, a 5.1 soundbar would complement a 65-inch TV.

    Those looking for an even better audio experience can look beyond 2.1 soundbars and consider 5.1 or 7.1 models.

    Top-of-the-range soundbars come with an additional pair of speakers that are placed behind the viewer and features the latest surround sound technology Dolby Atmos which produces three-dimensional sound that moves around the viewer.

    Many of these soundbars also come with built-in Bluetooth, which allows you to stream music from other devices such as your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

    Accessories are important too

    Photo: AsiaOne

    So, you've got a TV with beautiful pictures and a set of speakers with great sound, the next thing to look at is how these devices are connected.

    Upgrading your HDMI cables can help ensure the consistent performance of your home entertainment system, Mr Ee said.

    That's because a typical home is filled with a lot of wavelengths which can cause signal interferences. This may in turn affect the quality of the picture or sound of audiovisual equipment, he explained.

    Why shop for a home entertainment system at Harvey Norman?

    Photo: AsiaOne

    Harvey Norman has a team of experienced retail sales staff who are knowledgeable about the latest advancements in audiovisual technology.

    They can advise you on selecting a home entertainment system that is best suited to your budget and needs, and also perform in-store demonstrations of the different displays and sound systems you're interested in.

    The retail chain also has a policy that lets customers shop with confidence, offering perks such as price guarantee, exchange, reservation, delivery, as well as product care services.

    For more stories on home-styling ideas and inspiration, check out AsiaOne's Home Works special section.
     

    Friday, July 21, 2017 - 10:00
    Assignment
    Branded Content

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    21 suspects were arrested for their suspected involvement in advertising sexual services of female escorts online.

    In a statement, the police said that they have crippled two vice syndicates and a vice website in a 12- hour operation conducted on Jul 12.

    During the operation, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducted raids at multiple locations islandwide, including Havelock Road, Marine Parade, Whampoa Road, Cairnhill, Lavender Road and Balestier Road. 

    The suspects arrested comprised of five men and sixteen women aged between 22 and 57.

    26 mobile phones, eight laptops, condoms and related documents were also seized for investigations.

    Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had operated a vice website, www.laksaboy.com, which hosted 22 banners believed to be owned by different vice syndicates. The banners featured female escorts of various nationalities advertising sexual services online.

    A 29-year-old man will be charged in Court on 22 July 2017 under the Women’s Charter. 

    Investigations against the remaining suspects are ongoing.

    The police will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved in syndicated vice activities. Under the Women’s Charter, Chapter 353:

    1. Any person who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person (being a woman or girl) shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years and shall also be liable to a fine not exceeding S$10,000;

    2. Any person who knowingly solicits, receives or agrees to receive any gratification as an inducement or reward for providing any service, and who by providing that service does or will aid the prostitution of another person (being a woman or girl), shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years and shall also be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000; and

    3. A person in Singapore who, in the course of business, operates or maintains in Singapore a remote communication service that offers or facilitates the provision by a woman or girl to another person of sexual services in return for payment or reward shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

    Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 16:04
    Others

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    The police have arrested a 38-year-old man who is believed to be involved in at least 10 cases of Outrage of Modesty at the Hougang and Sengkang neighbourhoods.

    Between Jul 5 and 17, several female victims reported that they were molested at the above-mentioned estates.

    Descriptions provided by the victims indicated that the offences were likely to be committed by the same person.

    Acting on the reports, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division conducted intensive ground enquiries and follow-up investigations. The officers’ efforts paid off when they managed to arrest the suspect along Anchorvale Road on Jul 21

    Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect has made conscious efforts to avoid detection by the Police. The suspect is believed to have parked his motorcycle a distance away from the scenes and brought along extra clothing and apparels to disguise himself. These items were seized for investigations.

    The suspect will be charged in Court on 26 July 2017 with the offence of Outrage Modesty under Section 354(2) of the Penal Code Chapter 224, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishments.

    Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 21:48
    Others

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    SINGAPORE - We've all seen celebrities involved in various charities or causes that help to raise awareness. Lately, it seems like some of them have given a nod of approval to a new local social enterprise called LOVEWIN

    Attracting the likes of big names in showbiz, such as Taiwanese singers Vanness Wu, Elva Hsiao and Wu Chun, as well as Singaporean singer-songwriter JJ Lin, LOVEWIN is a platform that allows its members to win luxury prizes by playing a mini game for just US$1 (S$1.35). 

    Other celebrities that have expressed their support for LOVEWIN also include Singaporean actor Terence Chao and Thai actresses Ying and Woonsen.

    But why are these celebrities jumping on the bandwagon and backing this startup?

    The answer probably lies in its unique proposition which stands out among many other startups today. Rather than just providing a service, may it be Uber rides or food delivery, LOVEWIN is the first online platform that lets people get something out of doing good.

    And all for just a dollar. 

    Here's how it works

    LOVEWIN members play a simple 60-sec memory and skills game for luxury prizes. After a 10-day period, the member with the highest score wins, provided the prize has met a minimum number of games. 

    New batches of prizes are released every 10 days, among which include luxury bags and watches, a trip overseas and accessories for both men and women from high-end fashion brands.

    But it's not just about winning something nice: LOVEWIN says it gives 5 per cent of the US$1 to a partner charity. Members who sign up need to pay an annual subscription fee of US$1, of which 100 per cent goes to charity too.

    Sounds good? It probably does for Vanness, who is an ardent supporter of the platform and appears in a number of video messages on LOVEWIN's Facebook and website.

    "I think everybody, not just celebrities, enjoy shopping, travelling and so on. 

    "If there is a platform through which people can get what they desire and yearn for - while helping and giving back, and also raising awareness of these children and people in need - this makes such a platform powerful and rare," said the singer. 

    If there's a platform through which people can get what they desire and yearn for, and also raising awareness...this makes such a platform powerful and rare.

    - Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu

    LOVEWIN was launched in April this year, and is the brainchild of Singaporean founder and creative director Mr Marcus Savage, who believes that the desire for luxury and the desire of giving back can be a "happy marriage".

    The 49-year-old explained that most people are aware that they have to do their part for charity and to support social organisations. However, there are too many and some don't know where to start.

    "This is not because they are not charitable. It's simply because they aren't aware enough about charities and don't know which to support. 

    "LOVEWIN was created so that people could learn about these charities and support them while they purused their own desire for luxuries," added Mr Savage.

    Among the partnered charities include the Rare Disorders Society Singapore (RDSS), a non-profit organisation initiated by parents of children with Lysosomal Storage Disorder, a rare inherited metabolic disorder. 

    LOVEWIN is present not just in Singapore, but also in Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan. Its other charity partners in the region include Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders and Wishing Well Foundation in Thailand. 

    To date, the startup has close to 7,800 members, with over 2,000 who have played for prizes on the platform. 

    Over 50 have won prizes such as Chanel bags, air tickets and accommodation for a holiday in Sydney, the latest Samsung and Apple smartphones, and a Tag Heuer watch, among others.

    So, when's the last time you supported a social cause that allowed you to get something out of it too?

    klim@sph.com.sg

    Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 08:30
    This local startup has got celebrities like Vanness Wu backing it
    Original
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYbxmWAxoG8&t=33s

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