23 July 2016

12 July 2016

Eidul Fitr 2016

I travelled to India to celebrate Eidul Fitr (Hari Raya) with my parents, Nasira baji (my sister) and relatives. Here are some pics.

06 July 2016

6kg weightloss in 90days

I started an intensive fitness-regime on 01 Apr 2016.

With every day intense cardio, weight training and strictly healthy diet - I'm glad to share my 6kg weight loss in first 90 days.

This picture is taken after an 8 km run this morning, at my hometown - where I'm visiting my parents this week for Eid.

The most important factor for keeping up with training is a vision, why you want to achieve that vision, and a deadline. I can write an entire book about it here, but for now - I just wanna take a moment to share my happiness.

More good results to follow.

11 June 2016

Victory For Privacy

With Gawker Media filing for bankruptcy protection - a gossip story has recently turned into a big win for Privacy.


When wrestler Hulk Hogan filed a lawsuit against gossip media group Gawker Media over his leaked sex-tape, it was still a gossip. Then came a revelation that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel was funding some of his legal costs. As Hulk Hogan won the $140m lawsuit and Peter Thiel admitted that he was financially covering some of the legal costs - a serious and shadow war for "Privacy vs Freedom of Speech" became clear.

Background:
  • Gawker Media was launched in 2003 and incorporated in 2012, as an online media company with a network of blogs.
  • 2007, a Gawker Media owned website exposes billionaire Peter Thiel as gay, stirring up bad blood with the Silicon Valley  moghul.
  • 2012, Gawker Media publishes a 41 second Hulk Hogan's sex-tape.
  • 2013, Gawker Media refuses to remove the sex-tape, citing the First Amendment as its Freedom for Speech, and argues that the 41 seconds of video has news value.
  • Wrestler Hulk Hogan fights for his Privacy, and sues Gawker Media for (then) $100m.
  • 2016, Hulk Hogan wins the $140m lawsuit, as judge order Gawker Media to pay.
  • Gawker Media files for bankruptcy protection goes up for sale.

Key Issues:
  • Should the gossip and new media be allowed to intrude into people's life to make cheap profits. Apparently their cheap profits run into $6.5m for the year 2014.
  • Is the obnoxious amount of wealth in the billionaire club and Silicon Valley's digital muscle, exerting undue influence over media (press).
Key Players:
  • Billionaire Phillip Thiel, was obviously the dark knight in this war. This hero also was an early investor in Facebook and co-founder of PayPal. Humiliated by Gawker in 2007, he has got his sweet revenge by putting Gawker out of business.
  • Hulk Hogan, once the focus of gossip, is now a poster-boy for Freedom of Privacy.
  • Gawker Media, was an influential force in the growth of online media in early days. Often frowned upon for its cheesy gossip. And in Peter Thiel's words "built its business on humiliating people for sport".
In my opinion, it is a clear win for Privacy over Freedom of Speech.

There is no justification for publishing anyone's sex-tape - be it a celebrity, wrestler, or shaming anyone's sexual orientation (as gay). In today's world everyone has the right to live their life the way they like it. Nobody owes anybody a living. Media sites owned by Gawker had gone way too far with their offensive and distasteful publications. The First Amendment gives them the Freedom for Speech - but not a license to intrude into other's privacy, to shame people publicly, or to offend anyone's lifestyle. Hulk Hogan truly lives up to his superhero image, of crushing giants - both in and out of the ring.

This could also be the only time in history a 41 second video clip busted a $200+ million dollar company.

References:
Financial Times: Gawker Files for Bankruptcy Protection
https://next.ft.com/content/c964dbca-2f2d-11e6-a18d-a96ab29e3c95

Wikipedia: Gawker Media
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gawker_Media

Reuters: Gawker Media Files for Bankruptcy, To Go Up For Sale
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gawkermedia-bankruptcy-idUSKCN0YW1YP

10 June 2016

MindChamps

Sharpening my skills at MindChamps at Tao Payoh Hub.

I took a course on improving my skills to interview candidates. Interviewing potential hires is currently part of my managerial responsibility.

I found the course to be very useful, practical, and can be applied immediately. It was an applied and workshop styled course. I highly recommend it.

Link: www.mindchamps.org

07 June 2016

Drop Set Training

Adding method to madness is my definition of "technique". That's how I lift passionately, repeat it, and continuously improve. I recently applied the drop set technique for more than a month, and found it to be really effective.

Above pic shows my layout of weights for seated shoulder-press.

Step 1) select 3 pair of weights (example: 35 lbs, 30 lbs, 25 lbs).
Step 2) start by warming up with the lowest weight (example: 25 lbs) with at least 20 reps. This will be your warm-up, to get the target muscles flushed with blood (doesn't count as a set).
Step 3) rest for 1 minute.
Step 4) use the highest weight (example: 35 lbs) and do it till failure. (at least 10 reps). Then rest for 1 minute to recover. Repeat with same weights. You just completed 2 sets.
Step 5) Now, drop to next lower weight (example: 30 lbs) and hit it till failure (at least 12 to 15 reps). Repeat. You just finished 2 more sets, in total 4 sets.
Step 6) Now, drop to the lowest weight (example: 25 lbs) and hit it till failure (at least 15 to 20 reps). Repeat. You just finished 2 more sets, in total 6 sets.

What's the advantage:
- When you start with the highest weight, you are officially hitting your muscle hardest. This helps to build mass and strength. But you can't keep going with such heavy weights, your form starts to off-track and you hit failure pretty soon. That's when you need to drop lower.
- When you reduce the weights, you get the extra mileage. This keeps the muscles pumped way much longer. You can't reach this state if you were exercising with a fixed weight.
- At the last set, even the lowest weight (example: 25 lbs) feels like a ton.
- Every time you reduce the weights, it gives you more room to improve your form,  which chisels and adds more definition to the target muscles.

I picked this technique from Arnold's biography, where he describes the different methods to "shock" the muscles for growth. He talks about super sets, compound sets, drop sets etc..but so far I found this to be really useful. Why? coz you can apply it at every stage, even as a beginner. Anything you repeat (even if you do the same gym routine everyday), the body becomes used to it, and stops growing - so remember to add variations.

Drop Set technique was developed by Henry Atkins in 1940 and published in 1949.

06 June 2016

Ramadan 2016


Wishing all Muslims a happy and blessed month of fasting.

02 June 2016

Uber is the biggest funded startup


Uber has become the biggest funded startup.

Who are the Key Players: 
  • Uber recently added $3.5bn in funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), lifting it's balance sheet to $11bn. This cements Uber's position as the most well-funded startup company, and the largest single investment in a private firm ever.
  • Saudi Arabia's PIF will own (approx) 5% of Uber, with it's managing director on Uber's board. PIF's investment is a leap forward for Saudi Arabia, a country where economic reforms move at glacial speeds. Now that's changing, with the bold announcement of Vision 2030 by it's new leadership (under Prince Mohammed bin Salman), who is set to to reform the economy.
What it means for Tech Startups and Venture Capital:
Raising $3.5bn in a single funding round is a new global watermark. In an age where seed capital for tech startups is shrinking, the mass consumer appeal of tech startups like Uber and Snapchat is catalyzing their series-investment. Snapchat raised $1.8m in funding last week. The secret sauce is inevitably their viral apps and the phenomenon called 'Uberification'. 

What it means to Uber:
  • At 6 years old and expanding in 70 countries - Uber has already made it's mark. It is shaking up the traditional taxi industry. It's success has never been short of media attention. Be it cab drivers protesting on roads, in parliaments, or jamming highways - it is working well in Uber's global popularity. The latest drama was in Indonesia, in March 2016. Consumers love anti-establishment appeals. The growth of Uber underscores the fundamental need for urban-mobility.
  • Moving on, with a loaded war-chest of $11bn, Uber can now open to new markets, like Middle East. Uber is largely welcomed in Middle East, unlike Europe. Uber is growing fastest in Cairo (Egypt) and operating in 5 cities in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia it is particularly popular among women riders, who are not allowed to drive themselves. 80% of Uber's customers in Saudi Arabia are women. 
  • Standing on the shoulders of it's biggest investors PIF (at $3.5bn), Google (at $258m), and LetterOne (at $200m) - Uber has ample ammo for zooming in on competition like Didi Chuxing and Grab.
The interesting part is, Uber has always maintained it's stand as a technology company rather than a transport company. As Ryan Kavanaugh once said, "The key is to embrace disruption and change early. Don't react to it decades later. You cannot fight innovation.".

28 May 2016

Family Friendly Mall

Signs that your mall is family friendly, and caters to all types of patrons.
Good job FrasersCentrePointMalls, at Causeway Point Mall in Woodlands.

24 May 2016

Adi's Birthday 2016

Adi celebrated his fourth birthday on 21 May.

20 May (Fri), started as a pre-celebration at school. He had an early celebration, cake and birthday goodies party at school. Then on 21 May he got is Thomas & Friends giant gift from grandparents. And a race car from his Aunty Eva.

Went for a quick breakfast at Swensens, and then immersed himself in shooting the dinosaurs, aliens - at his favorite arcade games at Timezone. Kids are so natural at being trigger-happy.

Towards lunch, we went to Woodlands WaterFront Park - as our plans for cruise trip to Kusu Island had to be called-off. Always good to have a Plan B. At the park, both kids had fun. We capped the afternoon with a lunch at Rasa Waterfront Restaurant. 

The restaurant was on a jetty. There were many people fishing, their sun tanned faces anxiously waiting for the line to flinch. I wondered where in the world could people find such time, patience and calmness - for fishing. Apparently people do. Some of them make a catch, and then use the catch as a bait for a bigger catch. Human nature is so apparent..greed & hope drives their routine all day.

In the evening, we had dinner at home, and Adi cut his ice-cream cake. Blowing the candles needs about 4 to 5 re-takes..with Ayla and Adi sniping at the candles.

Adi with his birthday cake.

Adi with maternal grandparents.

Hi-Five

Learning the ropes from Ayla.

Adi with Aunty Eva.

Sniping at the candles.

Dream come true - gift from grandparents.

Playground at Woodlands WaterFront.

Scotty, beam me up.

Lunch at Rasa WaterFront Restaurant, on the Jetty.

Chilli-crabs, Satay, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Vegetables, Soup

Crruuunnnnccccchhhhhh

Starting the day with Kong Kong.

Say Cheese

Going for a spin.

Early morning breakfast at Swensens.

Thomas get to eat as well.

Crunch Crunch

SpiderWoman..in the making.

Glam Shot