UOB and Mobile Internet Banking

Just last month, DBS/POSB finally removed Java from its iBanking site, thus allowing iPhone/iPod Touch users to connect directly to their iBanking site from Safari. And this month, it rolled out its own iPhone app for DBS and POSB mobile banking.

I tried out the POSB app, and it’s really good. For those of you on UOB, internet banking remains elusive. You could badger them to improve support on iPhone/iPad and other mobile devices by removing Java and/or making their own app.

Send them an email via “Contact Us” link under Personal Banking: http://www.uob.com.sg/contact/index.html

Select: General / Website Feedback

Here’s the message I sent:


Most major banks like Citibank, StanChart, OCBC and now DBS/POSB support internet banking on popular mobile devices such as the iPhone/iPad. OCBC and DBS/POSB even have their own apps on the iPhone to facilitate internet banking.

However, UOB continues to use Java as part of its login mechanism for internet banking, which locks out the iPhone/iPad and other mobile devices that do not support Java—a legacy and unnecessary technology for internet banking.

When would UOB remove Java as part of its login mechanism so that your customers could easily do internet banking via their mobile devices?

Pulitzer-Winning Photojournalist Slams World Press Photo Awards

Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, and winner of several World Press Photo Awards (19751, 19862) slams the selection of the 2009 World Press Photo winners:

The World Press Photo of the Year is stunning for its lack of content or any other journalistic values. The jury’s selection is yet another setback for a profession that is already in deep trouble. If that was the best of the best, they should have made no selection at all, and I’m hoping next year will bring a more professional group of jurors.

‘The photo shows the beginning of something, the beginning of a huge story,’ jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer said of the photo. Right. Well how about showing pictures of the story itself, and there were plenty of powerful images from the Iranian protests, if that was what they wanted to show.

A fellow photographer said it was like seeing a photo of Paul Revere putting on his shoes before his midnight ride. There are those of us who still want to see the ride, not the’haunting and eerily prescient’ prelude.

Kennerly further elaborated in a later comment:

To further amplify my thoughts on the Photo of the Year… This is nothing personal about the photographer who won, he was there, and I admire him for it, but in my estimation there were other way more worthy photographs. If you just scan the other categories, there were ample opportunities to choose a great photograph from among them.

If the judges wanted to recognize Iran upheaval coverage, they had only to look at AFP photographer Olivier Laban-Mattel’s 2nd place Spot News Story for a winner. He was right there on top of it, wide angle in hand, putting his life on the line, and has fantastic photos to show for his courage. Any of his were better than what was chosen, and oh yes, they told the story, as opposed to being some ambiguous moment taken from afar of people doing who knows what on the top of a darkened roof above Tehran.

And there were many other strong contenders among the other categories’Charles Ommanney’s wonderful Obama photo as he waited, eyes closed, to make entrance for his swearing-in, Julie Jacobson’s dying Marine in Afghanistan, David Guttenfelder’s soldiers under fire, Walter Astrada’s bloodbath in Magagascar, and on and on. The photos were there, honored as winners in the specialized categories, but overlooked by a jury who might as well have been judges from another planet.

About time someone spoke up on the quality of the awards.

Missing the point

Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov muses about chess and computers:

The moment I became the youngest world chess champion in history at the age of twenty-two in 1985, I began receiving endless questions about the secret of my success and the nature of my talent. Instead of asking about Sicilian Defenses, journalists wanted to know about my diet, my personal life, how many moves ahead I saw, and how many games I held in my memory. I soon realized that my answers were disappointing. I didn’t eat anything special. I worked hard because my mother had taught me to. My memory was good, but hardly photographic… It’s the equivalent of asking Lance Armstrong how many times he shifts gears during the Tour de France.

Garry’s comments resonated strongly with me as I recall how many beginning photographers would obsess themselves over what f/stop, which lens, what camera model, what lighting setup was used to achieve a great photograph. More often than not, these factors have little to do with what made the photograph great in the first place.

An undesirable feature

So the UOB guy calls and tells me that not having monthly statements sent to me is a feature of Campus accounts; you’re suppose to check your statements online, which only shows you the current and previous month statements.

But I’ll give it to them for giving me a checking account with interest (however pathetic) and no minimum balance or service fees. Take that OCBC and your bloodsucking $10,000 minimum balance.


From Rogier van Bakel. These police are not real cops, but “deputied volunteers who fancy themselves real ones.”

Reminds me of our own paranoid SMRT and SBS staff over here. Not to mention the security guards ya.

Some people can be so hung up

Catherine Lim wrote a letter to the Straits Times on Wednesday, speaking up for the officers who were punished and expressing her disappointment with the verdict. Guess what? A Mr Ooi Boon Hock (along with many others who have left angry comments on her website) decided to misinterpret her letter and rebuke her for using the term “little people”, which he claims is “very patronising”.

Seeing so many clueless ingrates around, Catherine probably decided it was best to clarify her use of the word–which she needn’t have, of course, but she was nice enough to.

And guess what? Another reader who is too afraid to sign off his real name, decided to join in the bashing:

she only clarifies and wouldnt even deign to apologise?

she is no different from the rest!

is S.O.R.R.Y such a difficult 5 letter word?

Now enlighten me… what is Catherine suppose to be sorry about? About you being clueless? Yeah, perhaps she should be, I would, too.

The last time I heard, Straits Times wrote— “If it is determined there was only one weak link, at junior escort level, then the people should stop carping about why it is usually small fish that get fried” –in their April 24th editorial and nobody complained about being called “small fish”.

It baffles me that some Singaporeans can be so clueless, deliberately or not, I do not know. And I wonder why Catherine bothers to speak up for them.

A cultural difference?

The Chinese say, “己所不欲,无施与人。” (Do not do unto others what you would not want them do to you)

The Christians say, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

His Biggest Mistake

Former Malaysian Health Minister Chua Soi Lek’s said:

My biggest mistake was to go to the same hotel and the same room, thinking that it would be more convenient

Apparently, his biggest mistake has nothing to do with cheating on his wife.

Slaughter in the name of God

The Busy Brain wrote:

The story behind beheading goats for sacrifice starts from when Abraham was asked (or tested) by God to show how obedient he was. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Ismail, who was born after Abraham was very old. Both of them were in confusion, but then both said that if it is in ordered by God, then they should do it.

So, Abraham prepared to behead Ismail, and when the knife (or guillotine, or whatever they were using at that era) almost reached Ismail’s neck, he was replaced by a goat (or cow).

The moral of the story is, if you want to be blessed by God, you have to sacrifice.

Now, it is as if translated to: If you want to be blessed by God, you have to kill a cow/sheep/cattle/camel.

This Hari Raya Haji, 5,000 sheep will be slaughtered in the name of God the Halal way — slitting the throat of a conscious animal and allowing it to bleed to its death.

The Illusion

Cutler wrote:

As he spoke, my mind began to wander. I started furtively looking around the room, searching for famous, interesting or familiar faces. Having eaten a big meal just before the talk, I started to get sleepy. I drifted in and out. At one point in the talk, my mind tuned in to hear him say,
… the other day I spoke about the factors necessary to enjoy a happy and joyful life. Factors such as good health, material goods, friends, and so on. If you closely investigate, you’ll find that all of these depend on other people. To maintain good health, you rely on medicines made by others and health care provided by others. If you examine all of the material facilities that you use for the enjoyment of life, you’ll find that there are hardly any of these material objects that have had no connection with other people, either directly or indirectly. Many people are involved in making those things possible. Needless to say, when we’re talking about good friends and companions as being another necessary factor for a happy life, we are talking about interaction with other sentient beings, other human beings. So you can see that all of these factors are inextricably linked with other people’s efforts and co-operation. Others are indispensable. So, despite the fact that the process of relating to others might involve hardships, quarrels, and cursing, we have to try to maintain an attitude of friendship and warmth in order to lead a way of life in which there is enough interaction with other people to enjoy a happy life.
As he spoke, I felt an instinctive resistance. Although I’ve always valued and enjoyed my friends and family, I’ve considered myself to be an independent person. Self-reliant. Prided myself on this quality in fact. Secretly, I’ve tended to regard overly dependent people with a kind of contempt — a sign of weakness. Yet that afternoon, as I listened to the Dalai Lama, something happened. As ‘Our Dependence on Others’ was not my favorite topic, my mind started to wander again, and I found myself absently removing a loose thread from my shirt sleeve. Tuning in for a moment, I listened as he mentioned the many people who are involved in making all our material possessions. As he said this, I began to think about how many people were involved in making my shirt. I started by imagining the farmer who grew the cotton. Next, the salesperson who sold the farmer the tractor to plow the field. Then, for that matter, the hundreds or even thousands of people involved in manufacturing that tractor, including the people who mined the ore to make the metal for each part of the tractor. And all the designers of the tractor. Then, of course, the people who processed the cotton, wove the cloth, and the people who cut, dyed, and sewed that cloth. The cargo workers and truck drivers delivering it to the store, and the salesperson who sold the shirt to me. It occured to me that virtually every aspect of my life came about as the result of other’s efforts. My precious self-reliance was a complete illusion, a fantasy. As the realization dawned on me, I was overcome with a profound sense of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all beings. I felt a softening. Something. I don’t know. It made me want to cry.

An excerpt from The Art of Happiness by H.H. Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler, p. 55 – 57. Cutler wrote of his thoughts during a talk by the Dalai Lama.