Friday, 29 February 2008

30% Reserve Requirement Lifted

The Thai Central Bank on Friday decided to remove the 30% reserve requirement on short-term capital inflows imposed by the previous government. Central Bank governor Tarisa Watanagase said that the lift will be effective from Monday. [via Bangkok Post]


Sierra Tangos


  • Pol Gen Seripisuth Temiyavej said after hearing news about his lightning transfer to an inactive post that he will ask Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to explain the reasons behind the transfer.

Pol Gen Seripisuth, who was reportedly removed from national police chief post to Prime Minister's Office this morning, also told reporters he will sue Mr Samak if the transfer is done without transparency. [via Bangkok Post]



  • Problems in paradise for foreign property buyers [via The Earthtimes]





  • Face in a Hole is a website where you can put your face, or the face of someone else, on well known images. Ever wanted to have the Rock’s muscles, Audrey Hepburn’s body or Wolverine’s claws ?

Face in a hole makes that possible. Just select a scenario from one of the many available. You can filter scenarios by categories if you like. Available categories are for instance Sports or Advertising. Once a user has selected a scenario he has to choose a source for the face that he wants to put on the image. The choices are either a webcam image or one from the hard drive.


The image is then added as a layer to the scenario and you can move it around, zoom and rotate it so that the face fits perfectly with the image that you have uploaded. The system tries to put the image that you upload in the correct relation to the scenario that you have selected.

Once you are satisfied you can simply save the image and send it to your friends or upload it to your Facebook or Myspace profile. Lots of fun guaranteed ! [via gHacks Technology News]



  • Picnik says they want everybody to be able to be a photo editing superstar. That’s why they’re making the features that were previously available only to premium users, available to everybody. So how is it that they’re able to do this? Well, the site is now ad-supported.


After looking at the Picnik site with the newly placed ads, it’s really not all that bad considering that all users have access to more features. I noticed two ads, one on the right side of the page and one at the bottom . For the services that they offer, I’d prefer the ads over a yearly subscription because they don’t interfere with the photo editing and they provide a source of revenue for Picnik. So here’s what all users now have access to which they previously didn’t have access to before:

    • All editing tools

    • Special effects

    • Special fonts

    • Special shapes

They still do offer a Premium package, but that’s now changed to offer the following for $24.95 per year.

    • Ad-free photo editing

    • Advanced set of editing tools

    • Fullscreen mode

    • Professional fonts from FontShop

    • Early access to new features

    • Exclusive partner offers

Now that Picnik has become the official editor of Flickr Photos (it’s built right-in), there’s not doubt that they are experiencing tremendous growth and I think their users will be pleasantly surprised when they find that they have access to “premium” features. And by integrating ads into their site, they should be able to bring in a decent amount of revenue each month.

While there are some quality competitors out there (FotoFlexer comes to mind), Picnik still stands out as the best photo editing service out there. They’ve got a great interface and the tools are so simple to use that anybody is able to use them. Picnik says that one of their goals is to “bring photo editing awesomeness” to everybody, and these changes help them achieve their goal. [via CyberNet]







  • A guy gets home early from work and hears strange noises coming from the bedroom. He rushes upstairs to find his wife naked on the bed, sweating and panting. "What's up?" he asks. "I'm having a heart attack," cries the woman. He rushes downstairs to grab the phone, but just as he's dialling, his 4-year-old son comes up and says, "Daddy! Daddy! Uncle Bubba's hiding in your closet and he's got no clothes on! The guy slams the phone down and storms upstairs into the bedroom, past his screaming wife, and rips open the wardrobe door. Sure enough, there is his brother, totally naked, cowering on the closet floor. "You cocksucker!" says the husband. "My wife's having a heart attack, and all you can do is run around the house naked scaring the kids?"




Thursday, 28 February 2008

Opening Time For Bang Chang Bars Slipped To 5.00pm

As Ban Chang is not a tourist area bars there have today been advised that they can only open from 5.00pm to 1.00am daily. In addition, customers can not buy drinks for bar staff.

A deposition of bar owners visited the local police chief to appeal but only got further confirmation that the shortened opening hours will be enforced.

As a key source of income for Bang Chang bars is golfers calling in for food and fun in the afternoons, after a round and before heading home, this ruling is a potential bar killer. 


Sierra Tangos


  • A correction to my earlier comments on bars being allowed to serve alcohol from 6.00pm Saturday. Bloke down pub has just corrected me by saying it will be business as usual from Sunday 6.00pm. Apologies for the confusion. So bars will be dry on Saturday through to Sunday, 6.00pm


  • Heavens Above Leap Year Party 8.00pm, Friday Feb 29


  • Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra has returned to his homeland, 17 months after being deposed in a military coup.

Thousands of flag-waving supporters, including key figures in the newly elected thaksinreturns.jpggovernment, gathered at Bangkok's main airport to greet him.

Mr Thaksin was taken straight to court to face charges of abuse of power during his time in office - charges he insists are politically motivated.

He was granted bail and told not to leave Thailand without permission.

Mr Thaksin has said he intends to stay out of politics now he is back in the country, but correspondents say there are fears his return could lead to political turmoil. [via BBC]


  • Major roadworks are to commence from March 1 on Soi 17, South Pattaya [via Pattaya City News]



  • 16 year old girl claims she was raped by American owner of South Pattaya bar [via Pattaya City News]


  • The BBC has just launched a new home page at - you can customize almost every section on the site to match your topics of interest.

Don’t like reading Sports news - push that module down or remove it bbc-home.jpgcomplete from the home page. Think the colour scheme is too simple, pick a different one from the presets.  Want more news from South Asia - you can set that as a preference.

The site is more IE friendly and there were a few rough edges while making customizations inside Firefox.

Nevertheless, the new design is beautiful and very usable. This year we will probably see some more prominent news website following the BBC model. [via Digital Inspiration]


  • Add Your Google Personalized Homepage To the Firefox Sidebar


If you track important stuff (like favourite feeds, stocks, email, etc) using the Google start page, here’s a useful Firefox extension for you - the iGoogle Sidebar.

Like the Google Talk trick, iGoogle Sidebar places your Google personalized homepage in the Firefox sidebar so you always remain in touch with your favourite content no matter what tab is open in your browser.

The extension supports iGoogle tabs and you can even use drag-n-drop to change the layout of your Google Home page while staying inside the Firefox sidebar.

And hitting the Alt+Ctrl+I hotkey will toggle the iGoogle Sidebar so you need not worry about wasting that that precious screen estate. [via Digital Inspiration]


  • How to boost and increase your Internet speed

    Need to increase your Internet connection speed - there are a number of tweaks out there that will enable you to maximize your system’s performance and likewise, there are lots of things you can do to tweak your Internet connection to boost Internet speed. There are tons of them out there, but this article just lays out two of the most useful ones.

    Tweak 1: Un-reserving bandwidth

    By Default, XP reserves 20% of your bandwidth for it’s own use. This is a crying shame and should be undone immediately. To do this, you will not require any additional software, just follow the steps below.

    1. Access the Group Policy Editor. This can be done by typing gpedit.msc in the Run box (Start, and then Run). You will now be looking at something like this.boostimage-thumb.jpg

    2. Navigate to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Network/QOS Packet Scheduler using the pane on the left side.

    3. In the left pane, there should be a Setting with the name Limit reservable bandwidth, right-click this and select properties.

    4. Now this might seem a bit weird, as the State will say “Not Configured” but Windows by default will reserve 20%. So the trick is to set it to reserve 0%. You can do this by clicking enabled and then setting the Bandwidth Limit % to 0. It should look like the image below.boostimage-thumb1.jpg

    5. Hit OK then close the Group Policy Editor.

      That’s it! You’re done with the first tweak. Just a quick side note here, there are lots of other little things you can change easily using the policy editor. Feel free to wander around!

      Tweak 2: Optimizing TCP/IP settings

      This next tweak is going to require a piece of freeware called SG TCP Optimizer. This nifty little utility will optimize the manner in which your PC sends and receives data packets, which will as a result speed up your connection. Though It is most effective for broadband connections, it works for just about any type of connection.

      1. Download SG TCP Optimizer. You don’t need to install it, just double-click and it will run. Once you run it, you should be looking at this :


      2. That is quite an intimidating interface, but we won’t be touching most of it. Under the General Settings tab, just drag the slider to match your connection’s download speed. Then, at the bottom of the same window, select the “Optimal Settings” radio button and click “Apply Changes”.

      3. You will now be looking at a window like the one below.

      4. Make sure that the “Backup” tick box is ticked and then click OK.

      5. All that’s left is to reboot your system, in order to apply the changes. You will be prompted to do so.

      6. Once your system has rebooted, surf around for a while. If for whatever reason you feel your connection has been affected negatively, then fear not, for the changes you made can be undone. Start SG TCP Optimizer, click File and choose restore backed up settings. This will bring up a dialog box where you can navigate to where you downloaded the program. There, you will find a file with the extension .spg with a filename containing the date. For example If you applied the changes on the 21st of February “sg_backup_2008-02-21-xxxx.spg” would be the filename, where the xxxx is any number. Once you find this file select it and press open. This should bring to a dialog box similar to the one shown above. Click OK and reboot. Your original settings are now restored.

      There you have it. Your connection is now tweaked and ready to go! [via Online Tech Tips]






    • Charlie walks into his bedroom with a sheep under his arm and says:

    "Darling, this is the pig I have sex with when you have a headache."

    His wife is lying in bed and replies: "I think you'll find that's a sheep, you idiot."

    The man says: "I think you'll find that I wasn't talking to you."




    Wednesday, 27 February 2008

    Thammasat Massacre Makes Headlines 30 years On

    A member of a Thai political faction strikes at the lifeless body of a hanged student thamstudent4.jpgoutside Thammasat University in Bangkok in this Oct. 6, 1976 file photo. Police stormed the university after students demanded expulsion of a former military ruler and barricaded themselves in the school. Haunted by his past, Samak Sundaravej has sparked an unprecedented debate on his alleged role in a massacre of student protesters three decades ago. Defying photographic evidence and witnesses' accounts of the carnage of Oct. 6, 1976, Samak said during an interview with CNN that "one unlucky guy" was killed that day. [via National Examiner]

    Ed. Thirty years on Thammasat is an old wound that still causes pain so it's hard to understand why Samak would want to put the massacre back in the headlines. The only other incident I can think of like it is Kent State where in 1970, troopers shot and killed 4 anti-war, student protesters. Did Kent influence the actions at Thammasat 6 years later? Who knows but the Vietnam War made bedfellows of Thailand and the USA at that time.


     Sierra Tangos 

    • Two tourists killed and 22 injured in road accident - a tour bus transporting Russian tourists from Pattaya to visit Bangkok's Temple of Emerald Buddha on Wednesday morning overturned, killing two women and injuring 22 others.

    The accident took place on the inbound Bangkok - Chon Buri motorway in Lat Krabang district at 10am. Rescue workers retrieved two dead bodies from the scene and rushed 22 injured people to nearby hospitals.

    Bus driver Somjit Saleephan, 40, said that, as there was heavy rain earlier, he drove at medium speed on the left lane, when suddenly a puck-up truck on the right cut in front of him so he hit the brake. This sent the bus to collide with a roadside cement fence and overturned several times. Police charged Somjit for reckless driving causing others' death. [via The Nation]


    • DJ Roger Sanchez - March 13 at 808 Nightclub! Few DJ’s truly deserve the title of ‘Superstar DJ’ the way Roger Sanchez does. [via Bangkok Recorder]


    • Thai man in serious condition after brutal attack on Pattaya Beach Road [via Pattaya City News]


    • Britain was shaken by a huge earth tremor at 12.56am this morning which was felt by people from Yorkshire to the South Coast.The epicentre of the tremor, which measured 5.3 on the Richter scale according to the British Geological Survey, was centred on the village of Holton cum Beckering, about 15 miles northeast of Lincoln. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicentre was 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the Earth's surface. [via HuffPo]


    • Yahoo! Buzz - the best of the best, chosen by people like you. The buzz can be about anything - a great story on a major news site, an extraordinary bit from an obscure site, an intriguing video, or a fantastic blog that shouldn't be missed. Instead of editors, people like you determine the top-rated stories. [via Go2Web20]


    • Browse Your Digital Photos in 3D Stacks with PicMe. Freeware application PicMe scans your digital photo library and displays your pics in a flashy 3D-ish stacked interface. PicMe is primarily an image browser, and that's what it's best at, but you can also use it to share photos, either with photo sharing webapps like Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, or Facebook, or with PicMe contacts. The free version allows you to share 200 print-quality photos, so that's probably not your best choice for uploading your pics to the internet unless you really don't post that many photos. Either way, the interface itself brings a fresh way to browse your photos that may help liven up the way you interact with your photo library.


    [via Lifehacker]


    • Spy gadget recovers deleted text messages - thought you could get rid of those incriminating text messages with a simple Delete? Not so fast, Tex. Gadget blogs are all abuzz over a little device that purports to enable users to recover and view deleted data stored on almost any cell phone SIM card. simcardspy.jpg

    "Have you ever wished you can spy on your wife, husband, teens, or colleague's phone to see what they are up to? Are they being suspicious when on their cell phone?" asks New York-based BrickHouse Security, which also sells marijuana identification kits and all manner of spy cameras. It says it has the answer to your worst fears in the form of the $149 Cell Phone Sim Card Spy.

    Simply place a SIM card into the tiny USB reader, and instantly save the data, including last numbers dialed and deleted SMS messages, to your PC. Sure, the device is also good for more benign applications like backing up cell phone contacts. But really, why use it for such boring pursuits when you can hack into your unsuspecting loved ones' secrets? [Credit: BrickHouse Security] [via Crave]






    • A man decided to march in the holy crusades. Concluding that his wife should wear a chastity belt while he is gone, he locks up her nether regions and gives the key to his best friend. He tells him, "If I do not return within four years, unlock my wife and set her free to live a normal life."

    So, the husband leaves on horseback and about a half hour later, he sees a cloud of dust behind him. He waits for it to come closer and sees his best friend. "What's wrong?' " he asks.

    "You gave me the wrong key!"


    Tuesday, 26 February 2008

    The Hot Seasons Coming For Thai Politics

    Thailand's new Government is facing a potential crisis with one of its leading members found guilty of election fraud. Thailand's Election Commission has ruled today that new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yongyuth Tiyapairat, was guilty of bribing officials in December's election.

    The case has now been referred to the Supreme Court.

    The decision has shocked the new Government, led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and could mean the People Power Party is dissolved.

    Mr Samak has another potential headache to contend with if ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra returns as rumoured later this week. While Mr Thaksin is currently banned from politics, he is expected to be able to overrule Mr Samak. [via ABC News]

    Ed. If Thaksin returns on Thursday as reported expect him to dominate the headlines for weeks to come. I have a feeling the hot season is coming.

    Sierra Tangos

    • Pleas for help for Swedish woman living rough on the streets of Pattaya [via Pattaya City News]

    • Foreign brides who plan to live in Britain must speak English [via The Times]

    • Advanced Photo Affects With Photofiltre - one of the reasons Adobe Photoshop has become so popular is because of all the advanced photo affects that can be applied to images. Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of free alternatives emerge onto the scene saving users hundreds of dollars, but many of them don’t have the effects and control that I’m looking for.

      The tool that we found for you today is called PhotoFiltre, and it is completely free just like most of the software we write about. It’s far from becoming a Photoshop replacement, but I’ve found that it is extremely handy at applying effects and touching up the digital photos that you have lying around. Lets look at some of the things that it can do…



      • There are over 100 filters available including ones for standard adjustments (brightness, saturation, etc…) and even artistic ones (watercolor, puzzle effect, etc…). We’ll get into these more in the next section of the article.
      • You can select portions of an image with an automatic shape (rectangle, ellipse, triangle, rhombus, rounded rectangle) or with the lasso, magic wand, and polygon tools.
      • Well-organized toolbars make it easy to switch between the most used tools.
      • PhotoMasque lets you create advanced effects of contour and transparency on your images by using preset masks. These masks are grayscale images, where white is the transparancy color, while opacity increases as the shades of gray become darker. Black means complete opacity. There are several basic masks included.
      • The Automatisation module lets you apply basic functions/corrections (conversion, image size, framing) to a group of images.
      • Advanced text effects are available including rotation, shading, and bevel.
      • Assemble and blend multiple images.
      • Automatic photo corrections that enhance your images so that they look the best.
      • Free plug-ins add even more functionality including red eye removal, animated GIF importing, page curl effect, gradients, screen capture, and much more.

    The Verdict - PhotoFiltre has become a beloved application of mine over the last month simply because I do a lot of photo corrections and enhancements on a regular basis. If you want to edit your images this is a great solution, and once you throw a couple of the plug-ins into the app it will become a really powerful photo editor. [via CyberNet]

    • WinFlip is a free program that brings to Windows XP the ALT-Tab 3D task-switching flipping function that’s featured on Windows Vista. It allows you to press a hotkey and flip through all open windows using a cascading, isometric visual representation.WFlip_640_480_6.jpg

    Adding to the long list of apps that have copied all manner of bells and whistles featured in Vista, WinFlip brings to you one of the nicest ones, in my opinion, the quirky 3D application switching interface.

    There are multiple programs that deliver this functionality to XP but Winflip has the distinction of very competently delivering this functionality while using very low system resources to do so. Here are some more notes on this program:

      • How to start Winflip: press the keyboard shortcut (Alt-Q by default) will launch Winflip, while pressing it again will return to your normal desktop display. You can optionally click on one of the sides of the screen to invoke (this is switched off by default), or use a circular mouse gesture (an interesting function, but not my cup of tea).
      • How to Flip: once inside the Winflip task switching screen you can use the arrow buttons or the mousewheel to switch apps. Each window also has a little letter labeling it (A,B,C,D,etc), and you can simply press the letter on the keyboard to jump to that window.
      • Memory use: slightly over 1-meg (about 1.5). Compare this to the 15 megs that the non-3D version of Shock Aero uses.
      • No install: simply unzip to your desired location. You will need to drop the exe into the startup folder to get it to start with Windows.
      • Desktop window: by default the desktop is displayed as one of the windows to flip through, which I didn’t like very much, but thankfully it can be disabled.
      • Options: you can change the program hotkey, use large or small display windows, pick from a range of different texture quality, etc.
      • What it can and cannot do: Winflip will flip through normal windows applications and open windows; it will not recognize floating windows, desktop widgets or sticky notes, etc., even when the Windows Alt-Tab might.

    The verdict: a rather nice, lightweight application that works very well. Eye candy that doesn’t slow the system down, and free, what more could one ask for? [via freewaregenius]

    • You can never have too much Iga



    • A drunk that smelled like a brewery got on a bus one day. He sat down next to a priest. The drunk's shirt was stained, his face was full of bright red lipstick and he had a half-empty bottle of wine sticking out of his pocket. He opened his newspaper and started reading. A couple minutes later, he asked the priest, ''Father, what causes arthritis?''
    • ''Mister, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and contempt for your fellow man,'' the priest replied. ''Imagine that,'' the drunk muttered. He returned to reading his paper.

      The priest, thinking about what he had said, turned to the man and apologized: ''I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?''

      ''I don't have arthritis, Father,'' the drunk said, ''but I just read in the paper that the Pope does.''


    Monday, 25 February 2008

    "Being Em On" Thai Style

    The news of Thaksin's imminent return had only been leaked for a few hours before the Bangkok Post 'broke' the following story:

    The group that staged huge street demonstrations before the military stepped in and overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra resurrected itself on Monday and threatened to start the protests again. The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) suddenly on Monday morning turned against the return to Thailand by Mr Thaksin for any reason.

    Leaders of the group, including newspaper tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul and Buddhist sect activist Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, said at a special meeting to the current government was acting in the interests of "the Thaksin regime," and PAD instead to step up protests. In a seven-point statement, PAD resolved "to oppose the return of Thaksin" and threatened to return to the street protests if, as likely, the ex-premier comes back to Thailand.

    Ed. It's a lengthy article so if you want to read it all click on the link above. I have to say this is a pretty brave statement given Samak's history of dealing with demonstrations. In private Samak's probably thinking, "Bring em on".

    On the subject of "bring em on" have you noticed the many similarities between GW and Samak? The obvious ones are:

    • both are shoot from the hip type personalities
    • both have tried to re-write history which leads to
    • both having a problem with the truth
    • both struggle to show the benefits of their elitist education
    • both have a limited knowledge of the world beyond their borders
    • both are fine examples of the Peter Principle
    • both put vested interests before the needs of their people
    • both have a displayed a disturbing ease for washing blood off their hands
    • both see power as a means to get what they want, not as a means to serve
    • both cook - nah, George can't cook anything more than a cow. Wipe it's arse and stick it on the grill is young GW's cooking tip for rare steak
    • both are known for their erudite commentary - nah, Samak can speak Thai



    Sierra Tangos


    • Gullivers to open a new tavern on Walking Street. If the freelancers won't come to you, then.....


    • Rumour doing the rounds that it will be business as usual for the Pattaya bars from 6.00pm, Saturday, March 1


    • Man arrested while trying to hand out yaba during court trial [via The Nation]



    • World's Biggest Cheeseburger - The first picture is of the burger that won Bob's BBQ & Grill's the title for the biggest burger.


    It has now been surpassed by Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill in Michigan with a 134lb burger. [via The Telegraph]



    • How To Save All Open Websites in Firefox When It’s Time to Call It a Day

    Imagine a situation where are you have a dozen different websites open inside Firefox and suddenly your wife walks in saying - "Let’s go out for dinner and then see a movie."

    That’s an offer you can’t refuse but before shutting down the computer, you would like to save a list of all websites that are currently open in Firefox. Here are some suggestion on how to achieve this?

    Option 1. Press Ctrl Shift D or go to Bookmarks and select "Bookmark all Tabs". This will save all the open tabs into one folder and you can resume surfing the next day by select "Open All in Tabs" from the bookmark folder.

    Bonus Tip: Name this folder something like "Feb25" or "022508" so it becomes easy for you to guess the date from the folder name itself.


    Option 2. Send Tab URLs - This extension helps you send URLs of all open tabs to any other email address tabs using your default email program - it could be Gmail, Microsoft Outlook or anything else. Very handy if you are working from home and need to access the same websites from office the next day.

    If you don’t want email, use Tab URL Copier to copy URLs of all open tabs to the clipboard and paste them inside any note taking software like Google Notebook.


    Related: Don’t Lose Work If IE 7 Browser Crashes

    Option 3. Google Browser Sync - If you have a Google Account and work firefox-google-browser.jpgacross computers, this Firefox add-in from Google is a perfect way to save your Firefox tabs and open windows. Unfortunately, Google Browser Sync is not supported on Firefox 3.

    Option 4. Session Manager - This is probably the most popular solution for save your browser session in Firefox. It will even restore your windows and tabs incase your browser crashes.

    Firefox, even without any extensions, will prompt your save the tabs if you decide to quit the browser when multiple tabs are open. This sounds like a good idea but if you are sharing the computer with other family members, you run the risk of losing work if someone else logs in the next day before you do. [via Digital Inspiration]



    • 2-Step DVD-to-PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Software

    I’ve spent a lot of time over the past years figuring out how to get my DVD collection onto my PC so I can use my Home Theater PC (HTPC) to play my library on my TV. The following is the two step process I’ve come up with to do this; all other programs I’ve used either are not free, install spyware, or desync the audio.

    Step 1:

    Install and use DVDFab HD Decrypter.


    The settings here are pretty straightforward. Select “Full Disk” and where you want to save the file. Click start, and about 40 minutes later you will have your DVD on your hard drive and ready to encode.

    Step 2:

    Install and Launch Handbrake.


    Handbrake is a cross-platform (Win, Mac, Linux) program which is a collection of command line utilities that are used to convert DVD files to media files for use on your PC or iPod.

    Handbrake really can’t make things too much simpler. First, open the directory where you just saved your DVD to. It will then analyze the DVD for you.

    You can then select your options manually, or use some of the pre-built presets available on the right to automatically convert your DVD for several devices. Devices include iPod High Res, iPod Low Res, iPhone/iPod Touch, PSP, PS3 and more. Generally speaking, all of these profiles use H.264 to encode the video - this codec is arguably one of the best ones for quality/size tradeoff. Also, Xvid is available to encode your video. If you are converting video and you only wish to transfer to your iPod, select the iPod profile you need (I generally use iPod Low for the iPod Nano).

    Finally, select the “Destination” and file name for your converted file.

    Click “Encode Video” and up pops the command line window and you will be able to watch your encoding progress via this window.


    If you want to encode your video for storage on your PC, you can tweak the settings to your liking. Feel free to experiment with these - I find that selecting AppleTV profile generally suits my needs - this saves the video in a high quality format which you can then convert later to lower quality ones if you need to.

    Hit encode and your PC will start processing that video! In my experience it takes roughly 2 hours to do a full conversion in high quality - iPod video takes much shorter since it is lower quality.


    If DivX is more your fancy (with more and more DivX compatible devices and connected appliances coming out) then there is alternative software to use. Dr. DivX 2.0 OSS is the open source version of Dr. DivX program.


    There are some quirks with this program, and it could take some ‘massaging’ to get it working without crashing. A problem I ran across was that the version of AC3Filter I had installed was not compatible with it; I had to go back and install AC3Filter 1.11 to keep it from crashing when I imported the DVD files.

    With Dr. DivX, you select all of the video files you want to convert to a DivX file. The best way to do this is to open the DVD’s VIDEO_TS Folder and look for the first VTS files which are over 1 Gig. Select all of them up until the file that is less than a gig, as seen in the screenshot below.


    With these tools at your disposal, you should be able to get through your DVDs pretty quickly - converting them to a friendlier PC based format really makes it awesome for viewing on your TV without the hassle of searching your your disk and putting it into the DVD player. [via MakeUseOf]







    • The power of Times Magazine's cartoons




    • A man mentioned to his landlord about the tenants in the apartment over his. "Many a night they stamp on the floor and shout till midnight."

    When the landlord asked if it bothered him, he replied, "Not really, for I usually stay up and practice my trumpet till about that time most every night anyway."


    Saturday, 23 February 2008

    Pattaya Shutdown Only Partial

    The bar shutdown in Pattaya seems to have been a partial rather than total affair. On Friday night, some go-go's were open although subdued music and soft drinks were the order of the day. Around town some bars in Soi Buakhao, Soi 7, Soi 8 and Naklua seemed to be even more 'relaxed'. If you were prepared to go further afield, Ban Chang was very 'relaxed'.

    As the booze ban only runs till midnight tonight, I suspect more and more establishments will open up as the night wears on. Hopefully next weekend, when the Senate elections take place for real, things will be run on a similar footing so the non voters and tourists can find a little sustenance even if it is off the beaten track.


    There will be no post tomorrow because of the Senate Elections! My next post will be late Monday evening, Feb 25th, Thai time.


    Sierra Tango 

    • The baht rose relentlessly to a new historic high yesterday, reaching Bt32.30 against the greenback amid fears of a US recession and exporters' concern over the abolishment of capital controls. [via The Nation]


    • The rumour mill is working overtime with the news/gossip that Secrets might be up for sale for big bucks


    • Ex-DSI chief to clear his office on Monday - Sunai Manomai-udom, who was abruptly transferred from the head of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to a new agency under the Justice Ministry on Friday, will go into his office to remove his personal belongings on Monday.

    His position is to be taken by a close aide of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, Pol Col Tawee Sodsong.

    The DSI is currently responsible for several corruption and scandal cases, including charges against Mr Thaksin, his wife Khunying Potjaman, and two other members of her Damapong family over the alleged concealment of their shareholdings in SC Asset Corp. [via Bangkok Post]

    Sunai Manomai-udom received death threats before he was transferred from his position as chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Friday, Angkana Neelapaijit, wife of missing lawyer Somchai, said Saturday. [via Bangkok Post]

    Ed -  Revenge is a dish best served cold


    • More info on Donovan's Bar, on Third Road. It describes itself variously as a wi-fi bakery; wine bar (with tasting); NYC Deli; chocolate's; pizzeria. Now that's different but I like it.




    • winPenPack: Portable application suite for your flash drive

    We love portable applications. You know, the kind that you can run from a single executable file without installing them to your computer. There's no need to uninstall portable applications you're not using. You can just delete them. And they don't make crazy changes to your Windows registry. Best of all, you can run them from removable media like a USB flash drive.

    There a couple of great resource for portable applications, including the winpenpack2.jpgPortable Freeware Collection, which maintains a good list of applications and PortableApps, which not only has a list of programs that you can run from a Flash drive, but a nifty application launcher for your portable programs.

    Like PortableApps, winPenPack offers a bundle of portable applications and a handy program launcher. There are several different winPenPack bundles available, ranging from an Essentials pack which weighs about takes up a few hundred MB to a 1GB version which packs a whole boatload of software. The Essentials pack still has a lot of great software including Firefox, Thunderbird, Filezilla, Gimp, Kompozer, and Pidgin.

    There are also special versions labeled "school," and "games" that come with more specialized applications. When you first run winPenPack you'll notice that most of the menus are in Italian, even if you manage to find the option to change the language to English. But you can also download a 44MB ZIP language pack. Once you unpack that file to your installation directory your menus should appear in English. [via DownLoadSquad]


    • MediaFire- Free ulimited online file storage

    Computer systems fill up with media files quickly. Browsing the internet on a daily basis means that you will discover wonderful tidbits of information that you can’t live without. Usually, YouTube videos, music, and photos take up an enormous amount of storage space. Purchasing an external hard drive is a quick and easy method for increasing your storage capacity, but there is another way to do it without leaving home.

    Online file storage services are convenient, affordable, and very accessible. Although there are countless companies offering individuals web based file storage, not all of them are fully functional or worth your time. On the other hand, MediaFire is definitely worth a try. It can be easily used for personal or professional use and it has a ton of unique features.


    MediaFire offers its users unlimited file hosting. Instead of only relying on your computer to store your data files, you will be able to have easy access to them via an internet connection and a computer. There is no required signup process. Just simply upload your desired files to MediaFire’s servers and you will be presented with a sharable URL. Users can then post it on a website, email it to others, or even instant message it. If you would prefer to work with multiple files for uploading and also manage them, then I suggest you create a totally free account for doing so. It will only take about a second to get this done.


    Uploading files to MediaFire is a simple and pain free process. Sharing these files with others will allow you to stay organized and on top of your data. Embedding the links in forums, websites or MySpace pages is a great way to give others access to them. Not many websites offer free unlimited storage without a catch. MediaFire must be a pretty profitable company to do this for its users. There is no complicated software to install. It only took me about two minutes to upload my chosen file, send it to an email address, and then open it.


    Using this as a business tool for remote employees would be a great idea. Keeping much needed files online will allow an employee to become more productive . Put a stop to traveling back and forth to the office for presentations, contracts, or other important documentation. The only thing you will need is a stable internet connection and a computer Sharing enormous files with others will no longer be a headache. Upload them to MediaFire and then place it in “Sharing Mode”. Once this is done, others can easily access them.


    MediaFire is a great service with a user friendly interface. If you have been putting off storing documents online, then consider trying this service. It is quick, easy, and completely free. It does not matter if you want to use it for business or pleasure because it works wonderfully both ways. Creating photo galleries for multiple users, uploading files for remote access, and organizing your data files are all marvelous ways you can use MediaFire.

    A guest post by Ms Yokum, a tech enthusiast and blogger at Online Tech Tips 






    • As there's no post tomorrow and you've got time on your hands, why don't you check these 200 (approx) photos from the  Sports Illustrated shoot. Just cause you've got time on your hands doesn't mean you should let them wander......


    • The New York Times says that John McCain had a close, personal relationship with a beautiful, young, female lobbyist. Do you believe this? Think about it. A senator, who’s a Republican having sex with a woman.

    If it does turn out to be true, then John McCain’s critics have a point — he really does act more like a Democrat.

    They say this woman works for the telecommunications lobby. Apparently, she called McCain out of the blue and asked, “Are you happy with your current sex provider?”

    Hillary Clinton still doing very well in one state: the state of denial.

    [via Jay Leno]


    • The New York Times is claiming John McCain, who is 71 years old, had an inappropriate relationship with a woman who is a Washington lobbyist. The good news is there’s no footage.
    • Political experts say this could be huge for McCain because he’s married, and the woman he’s accused of having the relationship is 31 years younger than him. In a related story today, McCain was endorsed by Bill Clinton.

      The Spice Girls have offered to perform at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party. When he heard this, Mandela said, “Thanks, but I’ve already made plans to enjoy myself.”

      The store Sharper Image has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy was filed using the Sharper Image Bankruptcy-Filing, Folding-Bicycle, Massage Chair.

      [via David Letterman]