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Category: General (page 1 of 2)

Malaysia Tenancy Agreement Stamp Duty Fee Calculation

After getting your property paperwork sorted out and the daunting task of completing your renovation, investment buyers will quickly seek to collect rental from the property. Attracting and screening for a good tenant is not easy and it also boils down to luck. But i believe creating a home rather than just treating it as a rental house will increase your chances of finding a tenant that actually wants to live in it.

One of the things to note when renting out your units is to never rent your house without a tenancy agreement (TA), especially for direct (not through agents) rental to friends/family/friend of friends etc. The extra step in drafting a TA and getting it officially stamped at LHDN office forms a legalised document will save you much agony in the case of any dispute.

There is another added advantage by having a tenancy agreement. It will be a supporting document to prove that you are having additional rental income. This additional income can help you to acquire loan approval for your next property purchase.

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Setup VLAN on DD-WRT

Many of the routers on the market support third-party router firmware like DD-WRT or OpenWRT. These firmware add additional functionalities to you router if your network is more complex than a single flat network. It also allow you to tinker with many advance settings to customize for your needs.

One  such usage is to use DD-WRT to create multiple VLANs and link them together. This was done for a client when they have 3 VLANs from a legacy setup, but needed each VLAN to talk to each other.  I know it does seem counter intuitive since the usage of VLANs is to segregate your network into different segments, but for the case reverse engineering it allows 3 separate networks to talk to each other.

I assume you already have already installed DD-WRT on your router. If not, you can read my guide here on how to do so.

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How to create a Fedora Linux USB installer using Mac OSX

  1. Download a Fedora image if your choice from https://getfedora.org, choose a USB stick that does not contain any data you need, and connect it to your machine. This method should also work for Linux distribution installer images.
  2. Open a Terminal. It is located in Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
  3. Run diskutil list. This will list all disks connected to the system, as /dev/disk1, /dev/disk2 and so on. Identify – very carefully which one corresponds to the USB stick you wish to use. Hereafter, we’ll assume it was /dev/disk4 as per my test rig’s environment – modify the commands as appropriate for your own USB stick.

    diskutil list

    The USB flash drive is mounted as /dev/disk4 with 8.0GB of space

  4. Run diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4
  5. Type sudo dd if=, then drag and drop the Fedora ISO image file from your Finder to the Terminal window.  This should autocomplete the Fedora ISO location to the command, so you do not need to type out the path yourself.
  6. Now complete the command with of=/dev/disk4 bs=1m,  but don’t hit Enter yet. You should wind up with something like  sudo dd if=/Volumes/Images/Fedora-Server-DVD-x86_64-23.iso of=/dev/disk4 bs=1m
  7. Double-check you have the correct disk number and you’re really, really sure you don’t need any of the data on the USB stick!
  8. Hit Enter and wait. Depending on your USB stick’s speed it can take 15-30mins.
  9. Wait for the operation to complete, then reboot your computer, and hold down the left Alt/Option key to access the boot menu and choose the USB stick – you should see a Fedora logo. Click this to boot.




EKEN H8R vs GoPro Hero 4 Silver – Photo quality test and review

EKEN’s latest action camera – the H8R (R for remote model) is quipped to be a Hero 4 killer at a fraction of the cost. Armed with the Sony IMX078 12.4 Megapixel sensor, 2″ rear live view LCD and front data LCD, it also takes 4K videos at 30fps (vs 15fps on Hero 4 Silver).

Here’s a comparison table:

Eken H8R vs Go Pro Hero 4 Silver

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How To Install DD-WRT on ASUS RT-AC68U (or any supported routers)

DD-WRT – What is it?

  • Open-source firmware that unlocks a router’s full capabilities and adds an enormous number of features generally not included by manufacturers in stock firmware.
  • Compatible with large number of routers like ASUS, Netgear, Buffalo, Linksys, TP-Link etc.
  • Standardises the user experience across multiple devices and brands so that any knowledge and skills a person acquires with DD-WRT are instantly transferable to any new device.

Choosing a router

ASUS remains my current favourite brand for routers. They may be a bit pricier but the build quality and industrial design remains attractive. The stock firmware is usually decent, and loaded with ASUS Merlin you actually have a robust, high-performance router to use with our local ISPs. (Singnet/M1/Starhub/Viewqwest/MR in Singapore), (Unifi/Maxis/Time in Malaysia). They release custom localised firmware for use with IPTV set-top boxes, so your SingTel TV or HyppTV will work.

The ASUS AC68U has a Dual-core 800MHz BCM4708 ARM-based SoC chip, compared to the dated BCM4706 MIPS-based SoC chip used on the AC66U (and the older N66U as well). For heavy VPN traffic usage, the faster SoC will be beneficial. It is available at S$319.00 (RM957.00) from Challenger.

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Procedures For Singapore Vehicles Bearing G / Y Plates To Be Licensed As Commercial Vehicles In Malaysia

PROCEDURES FOR SINGAPORE VEHICLES BEARING G / Y PLATES TO BE LICENSED AS COMMERCIAL VEHICLES IN MALAYSIA

 Approvals are solely by the Johor Road Transport Department Director.

1.  The requirements are as follows:-

      1. The registered owner, either a company or an individual, must have a company registered in Malaysia (in the case of a company one of the directors must be a director in both of the companies registered in Singapore and in Malaysia)
      2. Applications must be in writing addressed to the State of Johor Road Transport Department Director and should be sent by hand to counters number 13 to 14 at the Vehicles Registration Section of the Johor RTD in Taman Daya, Jalan Pasir Gudang Johor Bahru.

2.   The following documents must be submitted:-

      1. An Official Application Letter by the registered owner of the vehicle.
      2. A photocopy of Business Registration with the ROC of   Singapore and in Malaysia if   the owner is a company (If the owner is an individual, BR of business registered in Malaysia) only (Form 9 and Form 49).
      3. A photocopy of the Log Book of the vehicle or a letter from LTA.
      4. A photocopy of the insurance certificate for the vehicle to be licensed.
      5. A photocopy of an Identification Card or passport of the owner of the vehicle (if it is a company, the passport of the Director who is a director of both companies in Malaysiaand in Singapore).
      6. The Latest Bank Statement of the Malaysian Company of Business.
      7. Photographs of the vehicle (Front, Rear and Side Views).
      8. Photographs of the business premise in Malaysia (With signboard of the name of the company). 
  1. Upon receiving an approval, the vehicle has to be sent for inspection at PUSPAKOM Johor Bahru to get an Inspection Report.
  1. After passed the inspection, the owner can proceed to the Road Tax counters to get a Malaysian Road Tax at the rate of RM 10.00 per month or at RM120.00 annually.
  1. The licensed vehicle is subjected to a 6 month’s routine inspection but the owner can show proof that the vehicle has passed an inspection by the Singapore Authority, it could be considered as having fulfilled the requirement without bring the vehicle for inspection at PUSPAKOM.

If you have further enquiries, you may contact the Johor Road and Transport Department at the following address:

Kompleks JPJ , Taman Daya
Lebuhraya Pasir Gudang
80990 Johor Bahru
Johor
Telephone: 607-3606060
Fax: 607-3542805




Choosing the (super) ideal diamond

In my quest to find the perfect proposal ring for my girlfriend, i’ve embarked on a journey to learn more about diamonds. It is something that one rarely pays any attention to, only relevant when you need to get one for your partner. I started on the HWZ forums, where there is an active thread on proposal rings and diamond discussion.  It is also the the place where i picked up most useful and relevant information, mostly from users that went through the same thought process when breaking the cherry on getting a proposal ring. For most,  it is our first time (and hopefully last), and diamond is a huge monetary investment, so most would like to get the best bang for their buck.

Most are familiar with the 4Cs – Carat, Clarity, Color, Cut.

 

Carat

The social norm focus mainly on carat, which usually is mistaken as the size of the diamond, but is actually the weight(mass). Reason i pointed this out is that you can have two diamonds of the same carat weight but one will appear larger than the other depending on way the diamond was cut.

Color

Diamonds occur naturally in all colours of the rainbow. Generally, the rarest diamonds exhibit no colour at all (apart from fancy colours). Polished diamonds are graded for minute variations in depth of colour, from ‘colourless’ to ‘light colour’. This is universally known as the D (meaning ‘exceptional white’) to Z (‘tinted colour) colour scale. D, E, F are considered colourless. From my personal experience, I would actually go all the way down to a “G” color, as you can’t really see the yellow tint unless placed directly beside a much whiter diamond.

Clarity

When we speak of a diamond’s clarity, we are referring to the presence of identifying characteristics on (blemishes) and within (inclusions) the stone. It is graded as per below:

F – Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
IF – Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
VVS1-VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist. VVS1 means the inclusion is on the bottom half of the diamond, and VVS2 means it is on the top half of the diamond.
VS1-VS2 -Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification. VS1 means the inclusion is on the bottom half of the diamond, and VS2 means it is on the top half of the diamond.
SI1-SI2 – Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification. SI1 means the inclusion is on the bottom half of the diamond, and SI2 means it is on the top half of the diamond.
I1-I2-I3 – Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye. Not recommend buying diamonds in any of these grades.

Some common inclusions, as represented on the diamond’s cert, are Cloud, Feather, Pinpoint (the shape of the inclusions and blemishes).  My personal recommendation is at least get a VS2 diamond that is eye clean (can’t tell with naked eye looking VERY closely and carefully). Unless you are very concerned about the resale value of your diamond, you will need a 10x loupe to see the inclusions.

NOTE: Do not get blemish or inclusions that are near the girdle (edge of diamond), as it makes the diamond vulnerable to cracking when impact is applied. Diamond are the hardest element, but under these circumstances, can be brittle.

 

Cut

The cut is perhaps the most important factor in a diamond.  Cut is expressed in terms of the brilliance, fire and scintillation of a diamond. To maximise sparkle, a diamond must be cut to very specific parameters of angle and dimension with a strict attention to the polished finish of the diamond. General norm is that so long a diamond has a GIA Triple-Excellent or AGS Triple-Ideal (on Cut, Symmetry, Polish) rating, it is guaranteed to be a good diamond.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but a 3EX grading does not surely ensure a well cut diamond. This will only give you an Ideal cut diamond. To get the best diamond, we need to find the Super Ideal cut diamond.

 

Finding the Super Ideal diamond

If you inspect your GIA cert, you will see a number of values on the diamond. These values can help you filter out the great diamonds from the not-so-good ones. As the fire and scintillation mostly depends on light reflections, there are some values to take note of to ensure a well cut diamond. This will separate a Super Ideal cut from a normal Ideal cut.

 

1. Firstly, use the Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA tool) to determine it’s potential Light Return, Fire, Scintillation and Spread performance. A score of  below 1.5 is recommended. The lower the HCA score, the better the performance.

The Light Return, Fire and Scintillation should all return “Excellent“. Spread can be “Very Good” or “Excellent”.

URL: http://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

 

2. Choose a diamond with values within these ranges for optimal performance

Pavilion Angle: range 40.3° – 41.1° (40.6° – 40.8° is optimum)

Total Depth: 59% To 62%

Crown angle: range 33.4° – 36.4° (34° – 35° is optimum)

Table Size: 53% To 58% (54%-57% is optimum)

Lower Girdle Halve length: 75% To 80% (77% is optimum)

Star Facet Length: 40% To 58% (45%-50% is optimum)

(values adapted from heartsandarrows.com)

To know more about what these values does, you can check out Hearts and Arrows DNA page.

 

3. Put the diamond under an ASET & IDEAL scope to see the symmetry of the cut. Nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes. Below is a reference comparison on the high performance diamonds compared to the rest of the common diamonds.

 

ASET scope and Ideal scope images comparison

The performance qualities in round brilliants are predominantly direct light (RED in both tools) contrast pattern (BLUE in ASET, BLACK in Ideal Scope) and leakage (WHITE in both tools) so both tools are well-suited to analyzing rounds.

High Performance (Rounds)

In high performance rounds RED is dominant, broken by an even BLUE contrast pattern. GREEN is present in small, symmetrical quantities. WHITE leakage should be minimized.

Brightness and Dispersion

Abundant RED indicates abundant light return, which most people find appealing. The balance of dispersion or “fire” seen will depend on the diamond’s configuration or “make” and must be assessed in-person. Large tables and shallow crowns have more whiteness then fire. Small tables and high crowns have more fire than whiteness. Middle combinations are balanced.

Contrast

BLUE creates the contrast pattern in a round diamond. These areas are obscured by the observer in the face-up position. Tilt the diamond slightly and those areas erupt in light as others go dark. Tilt it more and they swap again. Keep tilting and the on-off sparkle you see is scintillation. In high performance diamonds the character of scintillation is influenced by the table and lower halves. Short lower halves result in fewer, broader flashes. Long lower halves create more numerous, smaller flashes. Middle combinations are balanced.

 

The Chosen One

After much tinkering, i settled on getting my diamond ring at JannPaul. I was not disappointed. The immense knowledge that they meticulously went through with me was definitely an eye opener. They have batches of Super Ideal diamonds for your selection, depending on your budget constraints and requirements. Below are the ASET and Ideal Scope images of the diamond i purchased.

 

JP Ideal Scope JP Aset Scope JP hearts and arrows JP actual diamond

 

Conclusion

There are of course more in depth research that you can do, but after reading pages after pages on selecting the holy grail of diamonds, i believe the points pointed out above is more than adequate for you to find a brilliant diamond for your beloved partner. Look out for her taking notice on any particular ring setting that she may like, be it vintage, tiffany-style, with 4 or 6-prongs etc. It will save yourself a lot less headache when it comes to figuring out what is it exactly that she will like.

When all else fails, ask. It is something that will be with her forever. The excitement of not know WHEN you will pop the question will still be special.

Would you buy the iPhone 5? I would.

On the local HardwareZone forums, people are debating if the new iPhone 5 is worth buying. Main complain is the “small” 4″ screen size.  Some background information; the general public in Singapore takes public transport are drama/variety shows lovers. During transit on public transport, a large number of users watch videos on their phone, hence screen size one of the top factors when it comes to choosing a new smartphone. I would hazard a guess that it’s the same trend in Asian countries like Japan and Korea as well.

To me, it boils down to two camps:

1) If you want a capable phone that does almost everything a phone should do well, backed by an impressive Appstore and robust operating system, allows you to type and navigate with one hand — get the iPhone 5.

2) If you want a phone to mainly to watch movies, get something else with a big screen.

I have had experience with quite a number of smartphones, from iPhone 3G, 3GS (current), Samsung SGS2, iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 800(current) and HTC One X (current).

I have 2 local and 1 oversea mobile lines, so i kept 3 phones. You would have realized i kept one of each mobile OS: iOS 5 on 3GS, Windows Phone 7.5 on Lumia 800 and Android ICS on the One X.

I sold my 2 year old iPhone 4 in preparation for the iPhone 5. I skipped 4S because i didn’t think my iPhone 4 was slow and it didn’t warranty an upgrade.

The Lumia interface is extremely minimalistic, sleek and face. But it’s plagued by a non-existent Marketplace, and apps are probably a few generations back. I guess the lack of Windows Phone users doesn’t make application development team at Facebook and others make a priority on improving or even making an app for WP (for now). FYI, there is no Instagram, Flipboard on WP. The WhatsApp messenger hangs half the time.

The HTC One X is a brilliant phone. The 4.7″ screen is awesome, build quality is fantastic and it’s great for web browsing and videos. But when im trying to type with one hand, it’s quite uncomfortable, and you don’t get the secure grip that you would like to have. Android apps have come a long way, slowly matching up iOS apps. But, it’s not quite there yet. Just take Facebook and Instagram for example, the iOS application always gets first dips on the updated version.

Would i get an iPhone 5? Yes. Because i think the whole iOS + Appstore + iPhone combo works. Yes, the design didn’t really change much, and you hope for that bigger 4.5″ or 5″ screen. To me, if you are going to do heaps of web-surfing for information etc, even on a 7″ tablet it’s not exactly the most comfortable, less say a 5+” “phablet“. The phone does what it is supposed to do, and the advancement in iOS 6 + evolutionary improvements in iPhone 5 is enough to warrant a change. And let’s be fair, the build quality of iPhone 4 and 4s are excellent, and i expect even better in iPhone 5.

Apple always upgrades their OS to take full advantage of the phone’s new capabilities. I love my One X, and i will probably keep it for a long time, but Jellybean has been out for a couple of months, and i’m still stuck on ARHD custom 4.0.4 ICS ROM to get that “project butter” feel. Hardware is nothing if the software isn’t keeping up, and for now, the Android phone manufacturers really needs to buck up.

iPhone 5 pricing & release date – Singapore

Apple followed their previous pricing on the iPhone 4S for the new iPhone 5. It is expected to arrive in Singapore on September 21st.

  • 16GB – S$948
  • 32GB – S$1088
  • 64GB – S$1288


Apple iPhone 5 new features summary (updated)



Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone on the market and the lightest iPhone yet, all while packing in a taller 4-inch Retina display and high-speed 4G LTE connectivity. It launches first on Sept. 21.

Pricing will be identical to previous years, with the 16-gigabyte model available for $199 with a new two-year contract, a 32-gigabyte model for $299, and 64-gigabyte for $399 in the US. For Singapore, the prices replicates the previous iPhone 4S pricing: 16GB for S$948, 32GB for S$1,088 and 64GB for $1,288. Preorders will begin this Friday, Sept. 14, and it will launch in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore on Sept. 21. An additional 22 more countries will get their iPhone 5 on September 28, including: Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. A further 20 more countries will get it in October. (updated)

All of the native applications in iOS have been updated to take advantage of the new, larger display. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller showed off how Calendar shows off a full five-day workweek, and how the iWork suite has been updated to use the expanded real estate.

Old applications will run letterboxed on the larger screen, with black borders on either side centering the application, allowing for what Schiller called “pixel-perfect” rendering. He said that developers will be able to quickly and easily updated their applications to take advantage of the new display.

The touch panel has also been integrated into the Retina display, allowing the screen to be even thinner and sharper, and produce less glare in sunlight. Schiller said the new screen has 44 percent better color saturation, with full sRGB rendering.

As with previous iPhones, the iPhone 5 will be available in two colors: black and white. The white model has a raw aluminum back, while the black version has a black anodized metal back.

The addition of 4G LTE and the A6 CPU will not have a negative effect on battery life, according to Apple. Schiller said that the new iPhone 5 will not only match, but will exceed the battery life of the iPhone 4S, offering 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time or Web browsing.

A new microphone has also been added to the back that will allow for improved audio recording and voice cancelation.

Another major feature of the new iPhone is 4G LTE connectivity, which allows for the fastest mobile connections available. The iPhone 5 also sports a dynamic antenna that switches between connections seamlessly.

The iPhone 5 will offer 4G LTE support on carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the U.S. In Canada, Rogers, Telus, Bell, Virgin and Fido are compatible. More carriers were also listed for Europe, Australia and Asia.

Wi-Fi connectivity is 802.11a/b/g/n, and is dual-channel for up to 150Mbps downloads.

The all-new A6 processor also promises up to twice as fast graphics and CPU performance. Schiller said the A6 will launch Pages more than twice as fast, save an image from iPhoto 1.7 times as fast, load the Music app with songs 1.9 times as fast, and view a Keynote attachment 1.7 times as fast.

The iSight camera has been upgraded to an 8-megapixel sensor that captures 3,265 by 2,448 pixels. It’s a five-element lens and f/2.4 aperture, while being thinner than the iPhone 4S.

Image capture is said to be 40 percent faster, while a new image processor in the A6 promises to reduce noise and accomplish better color matching.

Also built in to the iOS 6 camera application is support for panoramic photos.Users simply sweep the scene vertically to maximize resolution, which can result in a 28-megapixel image.

The rear camera will record 1080p high-definition video and has improved video stabilization.  Sapphire crystal lens prevents scratches that distorts photo and video taking. The forward-facing FaceTime HD camera also records 720p video, and has backside illumination.

The thinner iPhone is made possible in part by a new, smaller 9-pin dock connector dubbed “Lightning“. Adapters will also be available to ensure compatibility with legacy accessories.

Credit: Images are from respective sites like Engadget/Anandtech. Notes from AI.

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