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3 Social Media Strategy Tips for 2017

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Marketers need to think of new ways to promote their brands on social media for a greater engagement and higher ROI. If you are still thinking that your post will go viral by simply sharing it across social channels then you need to revise your current strategy.

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In this post, I’ll share three brand new ideas with you to create a conversion-oriented social media strategy.

1. Automate customer interactions with Facebook Chatbots

Facebook allows you to create a chatbot using its own set of developer tools and APIs. Chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and they allow business owners to interact with every customer one to one, leveraging the power of predefined nodes.

Currently, there are more than 11,000 bots on Facebook that automate customer interactions and engagement for different brands. Moreover, chatbots can easily respond to audios, videos, images, etc., thereby proving to be a crucial element in the overall customer engagement experience.

Facebook Chatbot
IMAGE: The Mobile Eye

Let’s see some examples how you can make use of chatbots to streamline your social media marketing strategy.

Assisted e-commerce search

You can develop a chatbot for your e-commerce store that allows users to have a direct conversation to order a product. Today, if people want to place an order they have to manually search for what they want. However, you can use the power of chatbots to allow your customers to provide an audio input about what they actually need, and deliver that product directly to them.

Pizzahut Chatbot
IMAGE: nrn.com
Survey bot

A chatbot can be created to provide users with personalized answers to their queries. As a business owner, you need to understand your customers’ questions and worries and know how to talk to them in a way that ultimately leads to a conversion. For greater insight, you can create a survey bot that gathers social data, then segment users and target them more specifically in your marketing campaigns.

Enhanced social interactions

As in-person relationships are decreasing in today’s virtual world, it can be a good idea to create a chatbot that befriends the user. A friend chatbot will encourage more and more people to join your network, and later it can also refer your products and services. The chance for conversion may greatly increase this way.

2. Make use of social media analytics

I have seen many marketers relying only on the data provided by Google Analytics. Although the data provided by GA is good but for accurate segmentation of your social audience, you need more than that.

I recommend you to make use of the data accumulated by individual social analytics dashboards, then merge them in order to get a clearer interpretation of your audiences. Here are some social analytics dashboards that you should be using.

Facebook Insights

With Facebook Insights, you can easily segment your audiences based on region, sex, age, interests, ethnicity, family income, education, social class, marital status etc. You just need to install a pixel or upload an email list to get access to this data.

I recommend you to follow the fruit salad rule while analyzing the metrics. Do not calculate daily values over a period of 30 days. This might lead to incorrect data, as the same person may be included twice in the calculation.

Use the below table for calculating non-unique metrics (in the Yes column) over a 30-day period to have an accurate data of what is working and what is not.

Facebook Insights
IMAGE: Marketing Land
Twitter Analytics

Posting better tweets automatically helps increase engagement. Some of the unique metrics you can get with the help of Twitter Analytics are tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, followers, engagement rate, audience interest, comparison audience, and their country & region.

Twitter Analytics
IMAGE: Business2community.com
LinkedIn Analytics

With LinkedIn Analytics, companies can get details regarding their reach and engagement. It provides you with metrics such as clicks, interactions, followers acquired, total reach generated through organic and paid campaigns, page views, visitor demographics like industry, function, company size, follower demographics, and follower trends.

Linkedin Analytics
IMAGE: Crowdbabble.com
Pinterest Analytics

Simply click on your Pinterest profile at the top of Pinterest Analytics, and it will show you the top pins from the last 30 days. You can get insights about total impressions, unique viewers, total repins, clicks, and likes. With the data about your highest performing pins, you can easily align your existing Pinterest strategy for greater engagement.

Pinterest Analytics
IMAGE: Brandwatch
YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics allows you to see a high-level summary of how your videos are performing on YouTube. Performance metrics (watch time, views and earnings) and engagement metrics (likes, dislikes, comments, shares, and favorites) let you calculate the total ROI of your video campaign.

Moreover, you can also make use of the YouTube Analytics APIs to automate complex reporting tasks and build custom dashboards.

Youtube Analytics
IMAGE: Megalytic.com

3. Combine slogans with 360° videos

A good business slogan helps people connect with the brand easily. An appealing slogan should reflect the views of your company and should be able to powerfully communicate your brand message to your target audience.

Here are some ideas and tips to get started with creating the perfect slogan for your next social share. Your slogan should:

  • represent the real essence of your brand
  • be easy to read and understand
  • focus on a social cause
Good slogan

Whenever you create memes to share across the brand social channels, keep the above factors in mind. You can simply make use of slogan creator tools, such as the Spaces Slogan Maker, where you can type your main keyword, and it generates several slogan titles within seconds. The below screenshot displays so many slogans with the keyword “Crude Oil” generated with the help of this tool:

Spaces Slogan Maker
Impressive slogan + 360° video = Viral formula

If you are able to pair a video with an attractive slogan, you can expect it to go viral in no time. The latest video marketing trend is focused around 360° videos which are powered by virtual reality.

Youtube 360° videos

360° videos allow you to record a view in every direction at the same time. Dedicated VR cameras do this trick and the result is awesome.

Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce retailer recently unveiled its “Big Billion Day” sale with an impressive 360° video on Facebook. It’s not just a video but a game in which the users have to navigate to spot offers and deals.

Flipkart 360° video
IMAGE: Storypick.com
How to create 360° videos on YouTube

Download the Spatial Media Metadata Injector from Github. Unzip the file, then open the app. Next, select the video file, and click “Inject and save”. Enter a name for the file, and save it.

A new file will be created in the same location as the original file. Once done, upload the new file to YouTube. Finally, wait for the 360° effect to process. This may take up to an hour.

How to create 360° videos on Facebook

Facebook has a guide on how to create a 360° video. Just follow the same steps you would to add any video to a Page.

Before publishing your video, click the “Advanced” tab. Then check the “This video was recorded in 360° format” option to make the “360 Controls” tab appear. Click this tab in order to set the initial camera orientation and field of view for your video. Finally, click the “Publish” button.

That’s it! You are ready to rock! Are you currently using any other social media hack to produce great returns? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Hongkiat

Taiwan Yilan Food Review – 台灣宜蘭美食

Taiwan Yilan Food Review – 台灣宜蘭美食

Villa Loherb minsu At Yilan 樂健活日光綠築

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A relatively new minsu at a Yilan, not on the high mountain, in the forestry area or next to the lakes, Villa Loherb is surrounded by plots of rectangular paddy field at the Yilan countryside. Mountainous view, fresh air, tranquility with surreal moments fascinated us to make the choice.

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At the lobby
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outside view from the room

The minsu is beautifully designed with seven rooms catered for family and couples. The facilities are equipped with modern technology, projector TV, heater toilet with automatic “butt” cleaning. Besides the friendly service, Villa Loherb serves some real good food, from the breakfast to the desserts, it has not disappointed us.

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Dinning area

Breakfast

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We especially impressed will the panini, the bread is fluffy and chewy, we know Taiwan has very good quality bread flour and perhaps explained the quality bread. Besides complimentary breakfast, guests can enjoy the afternoon desserts for free as well.

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Both the cheese cake and chocolate cake are incredible good; both the texture and taste are amazingly nice.

Cycling is one of the activities worth considering during your stay here. Enjoy the scenic countryside on the bike and food hunt!

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A: No. 372, Baofu Rd, Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 269

T: +886 3 959 5685

Yilan Lu Hua Chicken 宜兰芦花鸡料理歺厅

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Took us around 40 mins to get there by cycling, do put on the mask if you choose to cycle around Yilan, swarm of midges are awaiting along the way especially around any water catchment areas and riversides. You do not want to fill your stomach with the midges before the meal.

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The minus provides free bikes and cycling map for the guests to go around

Yilan Lu Hua Chicken is located right opposite the Taiwan Arts Center. Why so special about the chicken? Lu Hua Chicken was almost extinct in the 90′ and was revived through lots of research. The birds are very active and give the muscles a good exercise.

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Roasted Lu Hua Chicken

The Lu Hua Chicken was roasted in the way similar to the Kampong Chicken here, the roasted bird skin was paper thinned with little fat underneath, tender meat and nice flavour that worth the try.

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local bamboo

Other dishes we ordered were ordinary and nothing to shout about.

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clams in soup but tasted like plain water
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The steamed fish was ordinary and nothing too exciting

宜蘭蘆花雞料理餐廳

A: No. 326, Section 2, Wubin Rd, Wujie Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 26846

T: 03 950 0599

H: Thu – Fri 11:30 am – 8:00 pm, Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 8:30 pm Wednesday CLOSED

FB:宜蘭蘆花雞料理餐廳

羅東夜市Luo Dong Night Market

The Luodong Night Market is a night market in Luodong Township, Yilan Taiwan, It is one of the biggest and most crowded night market in Taiwan.

A: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮中央的中山公園四周

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Make sure you have a copy of the map with you, it is extremely helpful when navigating around the night market

When you visit Yilan, you may notice close association of San Xing spring onion 三星青蔥 in the life here in Yilan, the local staple agricultural grow is a popular produce here with its unique quality, San Xing spring onion is sweet, tart and without the strong pungent comes with other types of spring onions, so popular and proud of the spring onion that the local set up a a gallery just to showcase the spring onion. (Yilan San Xing Spring Onion Gallery三星青蔥文化館).

San Xing Spring onion related food is everywhere and If you visiting Yilan without experiencing their spring onion, your trip is deed incomplete.

Here are some of the highlights you can try:

Yi Fong Spring onion pie 35 +10 for additional egg

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The pie was pan fried to give the dough a nice crisp, the round and flat pie has only spring onion as filling, Analogous to our roti prata here without the filling. The pie relied on the natural sweetness and flavour of the spring onion to heighten the taste and seasoning was not distinctive at all.

A: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮民生路130-1號

T:03-9577201

H:3pm to 9pm daily

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七巧味三星蔥多餅

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A bun filled with the spring onion and diced pork. The bun was deep fried in a pot of oil till slight golden brown, skin of the dough was thin with juicy filling. You can fully appreciate the natural flavor of the spring onions and we recommend you not to add the sauce given, it actually spoiled the overall taste.
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A:  宜蘭縣羅東鎮公園路與振泰街交叉口

H: 4.30pm – 11pm

T0983-951-524

宜蘭羅東+阿公仔龍鳳腿春捲

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One the stalls with the longest queue at the night market. The deep fried roll contained fish paste, spring onion and cabbage, wrapped with the membrane of the pig’s stomach for the extra fragrance, the bite size stick (2 for 35NT) was sinfully delicious.

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However, we somehow preferred the deep fried spring rolls (2 for 35NT) which were filled with spring onions and bean sprouts. A stall worth to try.

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A: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮民生路、興東路口Minsheng Rd & 興東路 Luodong Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 265

H11am – midnight

T+886 911 828 258

San Xing spring onion 三星蔥豬肉蔥捲餅

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Lots of varieties of using the San xing spring onions. This is another version using pork meat to wrap the spring onion, grill and serve in a box. Unfortunately the taste can’t make our eye balls rolling.

Smelling French fries 堂薯薯臭薯條 $ 35-50NT

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Smelling French fries? Yes, it tasted like smelly toufu, you can opt for different sauce to suit your taste, just adhered to the top favorite if you do not know what to order.

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Do eat it while hot, the fries turned soggy and you can trash it once turned cold. The smell may be shunned off by some but looking at the long queue you can be sure there do have a good pool of followers.

堂薯薯臭薯條

A: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮民生路55號

T0981-423-765 H3pm – 11pm

平胸妹雞蛋糕

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Not sure how many patrons takes a gleam at her breast, not in the lustrous manner but to compare note to the name of the stall – “Flat chest girl eggy cake”. We are not too keen with her statistics and the mini egg cheese tarts are ordinary. You eat and forget it.

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A宜蘭縣羅東鎮公園路162號前

T0981-098-811

H:  Mon – Fri 2pm to 10pm,Sat-Sun 10am to 11pm

Hua Ji華記龍鳳

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Right at the road junction and the never ending queue cast some weight on the stall. Compared the pork roll stick from the 阿公仔龍鳳腿, Hua Ji is less impressive from the taste and texture. Both stalls have equally long queue so might as well queue for the better one.

Mutton soup

Quite a few stalls selling Angelica mutton soup in this night market, the mutton soup was different from our local mutton soup which is rich with herbal essence and thick in the soup. The mutton soup found at the night market here was clear, light and tame in the flavor, mutton was thinly sliced which is our preference and probably the only plus point.

Kekou BBQ 可口香碳烤羅東總店

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You find all kind of roasted, grilled or BBQ meat everywhere around the night market. Mostly are mediocre and finding a good one could be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack.

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Kekou BBQ is one of the better one worth the recommendation, the skewed meat were well seasoned and grilled, most importantly the tender meat truly made our day.

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A: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮公園路110號對面

T 0910-503880 or 0922-269310

H: Mon-Thurs 4pm – 11pm, Fr-Sun 3pm till mid night or sold out

Taro 宜兰廟口

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An unique creation of encasing different fillings with the mashed taro. We went for the cheese and salted egg yolk with pork floss, the taro cake were deep fried to a crisp skin, The taro has to be fragrant and its delivered well with the promise. Cheese filling complements well the taro but the salted egg with pork floss was a little overwhelming for the tastebuds.

宜兰爆漿玉子烧

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The same base dough are used for different topping. We requested the mentaiko topping with fish flakes and mayonnaise, the base is made of flour mixture with cheese and corn, not too bad the combination. It is a good snack to munch on the go.

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A: 宜兰县罗东镇公园路1083摊位

H: 4pm – 12 midnight

Yilan Taiwan

We left Yilan to TaiChung after the third day, at Yilan, the minsu was a good experience in this trip, we finally able to get way from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoyed a moment of countryside lifestyle which was truly rejuvenating and revitalizing. Of course, the local snacks and food are something helped to make the trip a fruitful one as well.

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I Eat And Eat

surveillance

Data Encryption – What You Need to Know

You are being watched. Governments around the world have secret systems that spy on their citizens every hour of every day. These systems were designed to protect people from threats of international and domestic terrorism, but since they are run by humans, they tend to be used inappropriately too, like this National Security Agency employee who spied on 9 women until he was finally caught.

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Of course, it’s not just governments who do this, individuals who know and have the capability to hack and plant malicious software into devices do it too every day. Victims can be regular people like you and me, and the most we’ll lose is some privacy (like our private messages being read by someone else, not creepy at all). But on a higher level, companies often get attacked and lose millions to billions of dollars worth of information.

How is this possible? It’s either poor encryption on devices with weak security settings or the attacker is highly advanced and has the necessary skills and machines that can penetrate even fortresses.


IMAGE: Thomas W

Big words, wow, and I hope that got your attention. It might sound sci-fi-ish to you but this happens daily. Even as you are reading this. But the good thing is that there are several measures in which you can protect your data from these bad elements through encryption with the help of device manufacturers and security experts, and this article attempts to explain how encryption works to do exactly this.

First, why is encryption important?

Good question. Consider a scenario in which a system is password protected with no anonymous logins or unauthorized use. However, if someone wants to access your data they can simply factory reset it. The goal of encrypting your data, on the other hand, is to protect your files even if someone gains illegal access to it.


IMAGE: Negative Space

Another way of looking at this is if your phone, laptop, or desktop was stolen, you may say it’s password protected, but that’s easy to bypass. The thief can simply remove the SD card or hard disk and mount it elsewhere and they’ll have access to your files already. But if you encrypt your data, no one will be able to approach your data.

Neat, eh?

But that’s just for your files. What about your confidential information that gets sent through email or messaging applications? There is this thing we call end-to-end encryption that a couple of messaging apps are using, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

What is End-to-end encryption?

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a method where the parties communicating are the only ones who can understand the message being delivered. This means that eavesdroppers will be unable to listen to what is being talked about. Even the owners of the said channel like the telecom service providers, ISPs, and even app owners are not able to access your information.

The message is encrypted in such a way that the keys to deciphering the data only belong to the users who are communicating with each other and no third party can decipher it.

How is the key passed to end-to-end encryption?

Let’s put it this way, Bob texts his wife Alice. Each of them starts with a common color or a public key, and a personal private color or a private key. When Bob sent his text to Alice, his color (private key) is mixed with the common color (public key). Alice then receives the message and combines it with her own personal private color, and so she can read the message Bob sent her.


IMAGE: Wikipedia

This is called the Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

What is Public Key and Private Key?

Public and Private Key Pairs are composed of two unique, but related strings of randomly generated numbers. A good example would be:

20438 0145 00B1 28CB C9FA 5BB4 56DE 6D43 8BB1 E16A 5AB7 F3B0 5ECE 657F E6F1 CDF2 3FE4 D81A 7E8F B384 B1F1 3C2C 92BB 60AB BF40 C7D4 B6E4 C044 B84A DD74 C122 4B0A CB6F 52C4 C20B 0C0A 000A.

The Public Key in this type of encryption is, well, public. That means it’s readily available to everyone and can be seen in a directory. The Private Key, however, belongs to the owner alone. Because of its complicated and mathematical nature, the encrypted data using a public key may only be decrypted by a compatible Private Key and vice versa.

So, if Bob wants to text Alice something he doesn’t want anyone to see, he will encrypt whatever that is using Alice’s Public key and since only Alice has the access to her Private Key, she is the only person who is capable of decrypting the data back to its intended format.

Since Alice is the only person who has the key to decrypt the data, it’s only Alice who would be able to use it even if someone else gained access to the file. It will remain confidential as long as Alice doesn’t share the Private Key.

To put it simply, Private and Public Encryption is like putting your message inside a chest knowing that the person you are sending the message to is the only one in the world who has the key.

Why does it matter?

In the time we are living right now, information matters. There are many people who can use information to further their agenda. Governments can use information to protect its citizens or spy on its people, corporations can use information to feed us with advertisements, or to sell this products to us. And the more we, the causal users, produce these information, the more susceptible we are to these entities.

So why does it ‘really’ matter?

It matters because innovations in tech are bringing encryption closer to us. Gone are the days where if one wants his emails to be secure or private, one would employ difficult and complicated mathematical equations in order to encrypt them. That being said, it is now easier to secure our data and that is one good reason to take advantage of.

It also matters because we need to safeguard our online privacy. Sure, you may think that it is practically harmless for you to open your data to anyone, but it really is not. The reality is, online security doesn’t only lie in emails or text messages, it encompasses banking, financial, and medical records. This data is sensitive because it could spell out huge differences in our lives, and if it falls into the wrong hands, we could be in for a lot of trouble.

Lastly, it matters because sooner or later, we all would have something to hide. You may not think it to be possible but it would happen. The real power of encryption and privacy lies in its ability to protect the public. If privacy is absent, democracy and good governance cannot exist.

A concluding look at the matter

Though encryption may sound complicated, and even daunting, it is, however, necessary. The world is not of unicorns and rainbows and there are people who are itching to get every bit of information possible and they will go leaps and bounds just to get it. That’s why you build a fence when there is a threat from bandits.

You wouldn’t want anyone listening to your conversations, or maybe reading private messages, would you? So what would you do? Leave the door open? Or bolt it so no one could enter?

10 Free Crypto Apps To Help Protect Your Online Privacy

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Hongkiat

IMG_0076-1300x975

Mellower Coffee – Shanghai Cafe Opens in Bugis

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Mellower Coffee, a popular coffee house from Shanghai, has opened another branch in Bugis. This is probably one of the biggest cafe in town and is also the first global flagship store outside of China. The interior is spacious as there are cosy couches available, which is suitable for chilling out.

Carrying coffee beans from many regions of the world, they strive to give guests the best coffee experience, be it in taste or presentation. Their house blend coffee is specially flown in from Shanghai.

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Sitting before me is one of the most Instagram worthy coffee – Sweet Little Rain ($ 9.80). Served on a wooden tray, a generous puff of candy floss dangles over a cup of Americano. As the steam from the hot coffee rises, the “cloud” of cotton candy melts and drips into the cup like rain, which makes it similar to our local Kopi-o Kosong. It can get a little messy as the sugar drips onto the edges of the cup. However, this cup of coffee is undeniably unique, even if a little gimmicky.

Specially created for the flagship stall, Ondeh x latte is infused with coconut and fragrant gula melaka. The sweetness is balanced with a shot of espresso. This coffee drink is a rich and creamy treat that I can easily finish even after a full meal.

If these coffee drinks are too creative for you, go for the classic espresso, latte and cappuccino. My cup of Cappuccino was great! I fell in love with its creaminess and nutty finish. I will definitely be back regularly for my energy booster.

Maureen

Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

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Miss Tam Chiak

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How to Update Android Security Settings via Voice Command

How to Update Android Security Settings via Voice Command – Hongkiat
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K-Tower, Amoy Street: Tower of 9 Stacks of Steamed Seafood, 0 Calories, Right? 

img_1721Steamed seafood is trending this year. Instead of a hotpot or a BBQ plate in the middle, steamed containers are used. There is the Chinese style, served at Ah Hua Kelong, Sea Tripod, Steam Box, and Just Steam. Then there is the Korean style at Captain K Seafood, House of Seafood, and K Tower at Amoy Street. The difference between Chinese and Korean restaurants is that the Chinese places porridge at the bottom whereas Korean uses the steam from soups, and they stack the seafood in tiers (see photo below). The essence of the seafood will drip into porridge/soup.

img_0343K-Tower is helmed by Chef Sky who has trained in Korea for 2 years and has 10 years of experience with Korean cuisine. For lunch, there are affordable set menus starting from $ 9.90; it includes a drink, a side dish, and a main like shake shake rice box, Korean chicken, or army stew.

img_1746Korean Fried Chicken ($ 7.90)

img_1739Shake shake rice is a Korean lunch box that you shake to mix the ingredients before you eat it. If you’re going for lunch, between the shake shake rice and the ginseng chicken, opt for the former. The ginseng chicken is more Chinese than Korean; Chinese ginseng chicken is savory and heavily seasoned whereas Korean’s is mostly dependant on the bitterness of the ginseng.

img_1757The ginseng chicken is symptomatic of what requires improvement in the restaurant: the “Korean”-ness of the place. As I was eating, I didn’t think the restaurant is very “Korean.” For example, the Korean pancake ($ 14.90), they make it thin and crispy to suit local palates, and while it is addictive, I prefer the traditional Korean style. The Korean fried chicken is sweet, but unKorean. The ginseng chicken, Korean pancake, and fried chicken are tasty, but I wouldn’t classify them as Korean.

img_1750For dinner, the seafood tower comes in tiers of 3 ($ 58), 5 ($ 128), 7 ($ 198) and 9 ($ 298). You can also add items such as $ 25 for a piece of abalone, or lobsters at $ 108/kg. Towards the end of the meal, when you reach the base where the soup is, you can add more ingredients and turn the soup into steamboat.

img_1765For the soup, there are 4 types: seafoodkimchi (addition $ 10), army stew (addition $ 10), and ginseng chicken ($ 20). We had the army stew, and it was umami with all the essence of seafood dripped into it. SHIOK.

img_1767They use live seafood, which are swimming in tanks at the back of the restaurant. As a result of the freshness, the prawns are super duper sweet. The snapper fish is succulent and very fresh, not fishy at all.

They are steamed without any seasoning, so a light touch of soya sauce is good enough. They also provide gochujang and sambal which has a kick, but I’d prefer they not give the sambal because it’s not Korean.

img_1773Although I prefer restaurants that showcase a chef’s culinary skills, and not just simple steaming, K-Tower, which serves fresh seafood, is a fun place to gather with friends and family.


MENU
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K-Tower
74 Amoy St, Singapore 069893
Tel: +65 6221 9928
11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm
facebook

Food: 6/10
Price: 6.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambience/Decor: 7/10
Overall rating: 3.188/5


You may also be interested in…
Bornga Korean Restaurant @ Vivocity
Chicken Legend, East Coast Road: Hotpot using Coconut Water
Tsukada Nojo, Chinatown: Collagen Hotpot
Yonpachi Gyojo, UE Square: Flying Fish and Chicken Collagen Hotpot


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Download: Nightgate For iOS And Apple TV Goes Free For The Week [$4 Value]

By | February 25th, 2017

It is time for Apple’s Free App of the Week! As always, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV owners have a chance to grab a unique game for free, one which usually costs $ 3.99 on the App Store. Today’s title is definitely worth an experience, and if you’re wondering what it has to offer, we’ll get into that in a bit; after all, you have till Thursday to avail this offer.

Enter Nightgate – a minimalistic adventure which could be best described as set in a “dark digital world”. Given the theme at hand, the minimalistic design and graphics really bring out the darkness of what is said to be the “last remaining life form on Earth“.

As the developer tells us, “In the year 2398, a network of intelligent computers known as Nightgate, is the last remaining life form on Earth. ” As for your mission, you will be stepping into “the computer and make your way through 50 handcrafted levels. Avoid enemies as you interact with a dark digital world and explore what lies beyond the futuristic landscapes of Nightgate.”

What makes Nightgate even more appealing then what it presents at face value is that it’s a universal download for not just the iPhone and iPad, but the Apple TV as well. So for those who have Apple’s latest tvOS powered set connected with their big-screen TV, Nightgate can be played sitting back in a couch using an MFi game controller or the Siri Remote.

Universal app factor aside, Nightgate doesn’t entice users into any in-app purchases by holding back on features. Well, when you pay $ 3.99 for a game, you shouldn’t have to deal with such annoyances anyways.

Complete list of features of the game are as follows below:

– Immersive digital environments
– Over 40 minutes of original soundtrack (also available on iTunes Music Store)
– Minimalist design featuring vibrant colors and complex geometries
– Discover achievements scattered throughout the game
– In-game camera to capture beautiful screenshots
– Sync your progress using iCloud
– Fully localized for English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese and Russian

You can grab the game for free till Thursday as mentioned earlier from either iOS App Store or tvOS App Store.

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7 Ways To Donate Leftover Food In Singapore

Prevent wastage by giving unwanted food to charity

Willing Heart's soup kitchen

Source

Mention throwing out leftover food, and we’ll always have that one friend saying, “think about the children in Africa!” While Africa is an 11-hour flight away, we can always think closer to home, and remember the hungry living amidst us. Because while one of our biggest #firstworldproblems is suffering from food comas, there are many less fortunate people in our own country who worry about whether they’ll even get their next meal.

In 2016, Singaporeans generated more than 790,000 tonnes of food waste – that’s equivalent to almost 2 bowls of rice per person every day! Instead of letting that uneaten food go to waste, donate it to local charities that you are passionate about, and save someone from going hungry.

1. Food Bank

Food Bank

Source: @thetuckshop

Tossing out unwanted food is a waste when there are many lower income families that go to bed on growling stomachs. Offer the hungry a good night’s rest by donating your unwanted non-perishable food items to the Food Bank for distribution.

Donations should have at least 4 weeks of shelf life, and can be dropped off at the Food Bank’s warehouse, or any of their 14 bank boxes located islandwide. Some of these locations include supermarkets and even malls, making it convenient for you to give back to society.

Email: enquiries@foodbank.sg
Telephone: 6831 5395
Website

2. Food From The Heart

Food From The Heart

Source:@foodfromtheheartsg

Like what Mother Teresa said, poverty is not only about being hungry and homeless – the greatest poverty of all is when one is unloved and uncared for. Food From The Heart keeps the the lower income’s tummies and hearts full, by showing love to them through food and toy distributions, and even birthday celebrations.

Since 2015, more than 25,000 less privileged individuals have benefited from their charity. You can add to the numbers too – by donating non-perishable food items with at least 3 months of shelf life to their warehouse on weekdays, 10am-5pm. Give them a call before making your way down.

Address: 130 Joo Seng Road #03-01 Singapore 368357 (Formerly Olivine Building)
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 6pm
Telephone: 6280-GIVE (4483)
Email: info@foodheart.org
Website

3. Willing Hearts

Willing Heart's soup kitchen

Source

Being miles from home, it gets lonely for the migrant workers who labour on tirelessly to help build our country – even after the rest of us have gone home to our families. Willing Hearts provides these oft-underappreciated migrant workers much needed respite – with a free piping hot meal and good company after a tough day at work. Some 5000 meals are dished out daily by the soup kitchen to marginalised groups in society.

Show your appreciation to our silent heroes by dropping off food items, from staples to condiments, at the Kembangan – Chai Chee Community Hub from 4.30am-3pm daily.

Address: Kembangan – Chai Chee Community Hub, 11 Jalan Ubi Blk 6, #01-51 Singapore 409074
Opening Hours: 6am – 4pm
Telephone: 6476 5822
Email: willingheartsingapore@gmail.com
Website

4. Lions Home For The Elders

Lions Home For The Elders

Source:@paoloamorees

Lions Home For The Elders houses the aged and destitute, providing quality care to elders ridden with illness. To help ease the costs of caring for these seniors, the centre welcomes donations of groceries and household items – which you can simply drop off at their Bishan compound.

On their wishlist are items ranging from red dates to evaporated milk, preferably with as long a shelf life as possible.

Address: 9 Bishan Street 13 Singapore 579804
Telephone: 6252 9900
Email: lhe.pr@lionshome.org.sg
Website

5. Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital

Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital

Source

While sending cheers through his Happy Meals, the happy-go-lucky clown Ronald McDonald also brings smiles to seriously ill children. Believing that children can recover faster with strong familial support, the Ronald McDonald House Charity has built a “home away from home” at NUH – where parents and young patients can stay at to be closer to each other.

To support their charitable works, the Ronald McDonald House Charity is appealing for food donations, along with household products and toys for the kids. Imagine the priceless smiles you’ll be putting on all the faces of the little children!

Address: 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road National University Hospital Main Building Level 4 Singapore 119074 Telephone: 6778 1934
Email: contact@rmhc.org.sg
Website

6. Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart food donation

Source

Born into poverty, ‘Mother Teresa’ Hsu was able to empathise with the needy which inspired her to become a social worker. Even when she turned 100 – way beyond retirement age, she selflessly engaged in humanitarian work to better the lives of the less fortunate. Teresa has since passed, but her legacy of goodwill lives on through the Heart to Heart assistance programme.

You too can contribute to Heart to Heart’s efforts by donating food to their organisation. If you have a habit of going overboard during NTUC’s monthly promotions, donate your excess packets of food here instead of hoarding them in your pantry.

Address: 9 Selegie Road #03-33 Singapore 180009
Telephone: 6333 9439
Email: enquiry@hearttoheartservice.org
Website

7. Philippine Embassy

Philippine Embassy food donation

Source

Philippines is no stranger to natural disaster – in fact, she’s one of the countries with the highest disaster risk. You may recall the recent Typhoon Nock-Ten that lashed on Christmas Day which left many homes and infrastructure devastated. Although months have passed, the affected regions are still in the process of recovery.

Help disaster victims rebuild their lives by donating rations, medicine, and books to the Philippine Embassy during this tumultuous period.

Refer here for the full list of items that can be donated.

Address: 20 Nassim Road, Singapore 258395
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 12pm, 1pm – 5pm
Telephone: 6252 9900
Website

Provide a next meal for someone in need

With all our privileges, we often throw away unwanted food without a second thought – especially since most of us have not truly experienced constant hunger like the less fortunate have. If you still have canned goods or even uneaten boxes of cookies lying around from CNY, spread the joy to someone else by giving them away.

That said, do be mindful of expiry dates – only items fit for consumption should be donated.

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Weather icons can be very useful for weather forecast sites, making articles about weather, presenting weather conditions on news and TV, and creating weather mobile applications and widgets. If you’re looking for creative and free icons sets to symbolize various weather scenarios, then seek no more.

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6 Activities At SmartKids Asia 2017 That Beats A Week On The PS4 This March Holidays

SmartKids Asia 2017: Asia’s Largest Educational Kids Fair


Source

Before you know it, another school term is ending, and with it, the March holidays are also fast approaching. For those with no plans of jetting off with the family to enjoy some sun, sand and sea, it’s imperative to plan something to ensure your kids don’t end up rotting in front of their game consoles.

But with only a week, it’s especially hard to find a balance between making the holidays productive and giving your child a timely break from schoolwork.

If you’re looking to give your child a fun and enriching March holiday, look no further than SmartKids Asia, the continent’s biggest educational kids fair. From printmaking workshops to parenting masterclasses, here are 6 activities to get in on all the action:

1. Step into the shoes of a WWII Reporter

smartkids asia storymakers camp  the straits times march holidays children journalist war reporter
Source: SmartKids Asia

Growing up in Singapore’s peaceful environment makes it hard for our children to grasp the price we had to pay for it, but not impossible! Broaden your child’s horizons with a 2-day role playing stint in the shoes of a WWII reporter.

Accompanied by real life journalists from The Straits Times, the children are guided through galleries, museums and historical sites, documenting their findings and trying their hand at photography with their new found friends.

Their skills will then be put to the test with a photography assignment to snap as many unique pictures at the underground bunkers of The Battlebox for their very own newspaper.

Date: 17th and 18th March
Time: 8am–6pm
Ages: 9-12 years old
Register Here!

2. Groom the next Singapore Idol at SmartKids Asia Talent Time

smartkids asia talent time performance violin instrument music singing competition
Source: SmartKids Asia

Ever admired how well your kid sings in the shower? Or maybe he/she is a guitar prodigy in the mould of Sungha Jung? You might‘ve already tried catapulting your child to super stardom by loading the footage on Youtube, but instead of just sitting there and hoping someone discovers him/her – apply for the SmartKids Asia Talentime to showcase his talent.

smartkids asia talent time performance piano competition
Source: SmartKids Asia

Open in three categories of singing, dancing and playing an instrument, watch your little one skyrocket to clinch the coveted title of Talent Time Champion, and prizes worth up to $ 590.

Submission Deadline: 8 March 2017, 2359hrs
Shortlisted participants will be notified on 13 Mar. Date and time of performance will be advised nearer to the event. 
Ages: 5-12 years old
Register by submitting a 1-minute YouTube video link of your child’s performance here!

3. Set your younglings loose on their massive free-to-play bouncy castle

smartkids asia bouncy castle expo hall march holidays
Source: SmartKids Asia

Most kids are such bundles of energy, it’s never easy to get them to sit still. SmartKids Asia might be an educational fair, but don’t worry about your kids getting bored. This year’s venue includes a bouncy castle that extends over 200 sqm. And unlike the ones you usually see, this set of inflatables is completely free-to-play, all day long!

And if your kids still aren’t tired from all that jumping around, make sure they give the Fun Passport a shot. With a range of enriching activities from baking to printmaking, they’ll not only be having fun but equipping themselves with life skills along the way.

Note: Each completed passport also entails them to a spin of their prize wheel and the chance to win exclusive prizes along the way!

4. Learn the art of parenting while the kids have fun

parenting masterclass the straits times smartkids asia
Source: SmartKids Asia

Bringing up a child is a learning journey with no hacks and shortcuts but plenty of ups and downs. We all want to be better parents, and like how you send your children to tuition, sometimes we need some help in our parenting journey as well.

With one hour long sessions that cover topics from positive psychology to dealing with your child’s internet addiction, The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses are here to save the day. Sit down with psychology coaches, and education specialists to identify the best ways to help you child bloom in and out of the classroom.

Score 20% off with the promo code “SKALOCAL” when you register from the 1st-12th of March!

Dates: 17th and 18th March
Find out about the different sessions and register here!

5. Bring out your child’s inner Picasso with art and colouring contests

I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid that doesn’t like drawing. If your little one’s doodles are starting to look better than the work you submitted back in art class, let them take the centre stage at SmartKids Asia’s Art and a Colouring Contest.

colouring art competition contest march holidays children
Source: SmartKids Asia

Unleash the inner Picasso in your child and put his/her creativity to the test around the theme “A great makan time” – the top 10 artworks will receive prizes worth up to $ 500 in total, with each of their artists also presented an official certificate.

For the younger crowd aged 5 to 8, there’s the Stabilo Junior Colouring Contest. Themed “Colour your world”, the contest is a must-join for any crayon-loving child. The most creative ones will stand a chance to win prizes and certificates. But even if your young one doesn’t come out top, he’ll still be a winner with a Stabilo goodie bag worth $ 15 given to each and every child who registers.

SmartKids Asia Art Contest
When: 17 – 18 March 2017 (from 10am to 8pm) 19 March 2017 (from 10am to 4pm)
Price: Pre-Registration Single Child ticket – $ 11.24
Standard ticket purchase at SmartKids Asia – strictly cash only at $ 16.05 (include GST)
Participants:  9-12 years old
Registration is available here!

Stabilo Junior Colouring Contest
When: 17 – 18 March 2017 (from 10am to 8pm) 19 March 2017 (from 10am to 4pm) 
Price: Pre-Registration Single Child ticket – $ 11.24
Standard ticket purchase at SmartKids Asia – strictly cash only at $ 16.05 (include GST)
Participants:  5-8 years old 
Registration is available here!

6. Revisit classic fairytales through theatre and storytelling

Pororo will still be there presenting their own version of Jack & the Beanstalk and meet & greet sessions, but expect to see classic fairytale characters like Goldilocks as well!

Forget about the latest rom-com or mindless action flick and treat your children to the stories you grew up with. In collaboration with the National Library Board, this is the first time SmartKids Asia is hosting the Storyland segment, showcasing timeless classics in the form of theatrical plays and storytelling. You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate a good theatrical performance.

Nothing like good old classics like Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel, to impart some important life lessons.

Have a blast this March at SmartKids Asia 2017

School holidays are best chance to spend time with your child and create memories with them. Bring your young ones to a place where you can bond as a family, have fun, and still learn something at the end of the day.

Hits from last year like Pororo and My Little Pony will once again make an appearance with meet and greet sessions. The former will even be presenting their own version of Jack & the Beanstalk!

With goodie bags and lucky draw prizes – including resort staycations and family passes to Bounce Singapore – up for grabs daily, you can even satisfy the kiasu parent within you.

So whether you’ve got a little energizer bunny or a mature bookworm on your hands,it’s time to take that iPad from their hands, and bring take them out for a day of real family fun.

Find out more about SmartKids Asia 2017 here!

SmartKids Asia 2017: Educational Fun for the Whole Family
Dates: 17 March 2017 to 19 March 2017
Time: 10am to 9pm (Fri & Sat) and 10am to 8pm (Sun) 
Venues: Singapore Expo Hall 6
Admission Charges: Entry is FREE! 
Website

A pair of 1-DAY passes to The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses worth $ 48.15 each + Goodie Bags worth $ 50 each

To stand a chance to win, simply follow these steps: 

  1. Like and share this post
  2. Comment here by 3rd March and tell us why you want to win

The contest ends on 3rd March and 5 lucky winners will be chosen, and each winner will walk away with a pair of 1-day passes to The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses worth $ 48.15 each and 2 SmartKids Asia Goodie Bags worth $ 50 each.


This post was brought to you by SmartKids Asia.

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