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You Can Now Decrypt Or Patch WannaCry Ransomeware Attack On Windows, Sort Of

By | May 19th, 2017

Ransomeware is bad – very bad, and that is very much the case with the WannaCry ransomware that has taken the world by storm over the past week, with huge companies and health organizations suffering at the hands of the ransomeware that demands $ 300 per machine to decrypt its data.

However, one security researcher may have found a way to strike back, at least in part, while retrieving data and avoiding that $ 300 fee.

Now, before we get anyone’s hopes up, this workaround as such will only apply to a very limited number of scenarios. For starters, it only works on computers that are using Windows XP as their operating system, and even then, only when they have not been restarted since the infection took hold.

Even if those criteria are met, you may still be out of luck. That’s because the tool released by the researcher, called Wannakey, takes the encryption key right out of the memory of an affected system, meaning this is only going to work in a very specific, very small number of cases. If you fit into that category though, you won’t care about that one jot!

Wannakey has been developed by Adrien Guinet, a researcher for French outfit Quarkslab, and posted on GitHub for free to allow as many people to take advantage of it as possible. From the “README” file on the Wannakey GitHub page:

This software has only been tested and known to work under Windows XP. In order to work, your computer must not have been rebooted after being infected.

Please also note that you need some luck for this to work (see below), and so it might not work in every cases!

While the chances of this helping you if you are infected with WCry are small, even if it helps one person, it is well worth the time and effort to distribute. Good luck, folks! It’s a dangerous world out there.

(Source: aguinet [GitHub], Bottom image: Adrien Guinet‏ [Twitter])

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The Other Room, Marriott Hotel: Secret Bar That You Need to Ring a Doorbell to Enter 

The Other Room at Marriott Hotel is a speakeasy that you would never know its existence if you have not heard of it. You will never be a walk-in guest. There is no signage to announce its presence. And the entrance blends with the wainscoting of Marriott’s wall. Except for a discreet doorbell, there is nothing to signal that behind the wall lies a bar.

When you enter, it is dark and small, allowing maybe 40-50 people if they squeeze. You’re secretly glad you made a reservation so you get a table.

Hanging from the ceiling is a disco ball trapped in a skeletal shade like a birdcage. They play black soul disco songs of the 70s. Groovy baby. All other patrons are white and you wonder if they understand the irony of being in a black bar in Asia. You think of blaxploitation and whitewashing films and you chuckle.

There is a welcome drink (espresso martini in a dropper bottle) to whet your thrist. The waiter, who looks like a handsome version of local singer Lin Junjie, is polite, attentive, and informative that you fall in love with him… just a little bit.

He brings you an unsolicited glass of water and the extensive menu and you ask him for a recommendation. You want something sweet to start the night. He says Midnight in Paris ($ 21). You accept his recommendation although you don’t like the film of that title because you don’t like the egotistical director, Woody Allen, whose films are about him getting beautiful girls when he’s a hideous troll–someone buy him a mirror—and, in real life, he married his own daughter. That’s called grooming, right?

But Midnight in Paris, the cocktail not the movie, is exactly what you needed to get this party started. It is foamy throughout from the egg white; floral and sweet from St Germain elderflower liquer and peach liquer, with a sour aftertaste of lemon.

Your friends are late by 40 minutes. By now you have time to peruse the menu. And you are ready to take a stiff one, Winston Churchill ($ 24) it is. It is an old fashioned smoked with Wide Churchill Romeo y Julieta cigar.

You like the appearance of the cocktail, just a simple whiskey glass with a big block of ice. You take a sip and you try to decide if you like the taste of ashes in your mouth. You like the manliness of the drink but the strength of old fashioned has taken a backseat to the taste of smoke. It is smooth and easy. Huccalyly, who just returned from Hong Kong, relates a story where she drank burnt talisman water in a Michelin-starred restaurant. But she says, this cocktail is better without the sediments of ashes.

It is now three hours after your dinner and you feel peckish. The bar is starting to fill up. You ask the friendly waitress if she prefers the chilli hotdog ($ 14) or the Reuben ($ 19) and she answers without hesitation, “The Reuben.” Indeed, all along, you know you wanted the Reuben because hotdogs are lame.  With your Reuben, you order The Last Supper ($ 21), a cocktail which they infuse bread into wine.  A bar is a good place for sacramental rites.

The Reuben isn’t what you expect it to be. You like stacks of corn beef in between your bun, but this one is anorexic like a panini.  When you bite into it, the sourness of the sauerkraut overtakes your mouth and, in the darkness, without seeing the sandwich, you wonder if there is more sauerkraut than beef. You think this is a Prohibition bar, times are lean, and you shouldn’t expect much beef. On the other hand, it is piquant, which is nice, and you like the bread of good quality, nicely toasted to give a crunch.

But you decidedly do not like The Last Supper. It tastes like Hakka red wine chicken your mom often cooks. In a savory dish, it is delicious but in a cocktail, it is as awkward as running into your neighbors and not knowing the proper etiquette of whether to say hi or not.

That’s it. The law of diminishing utility has set in. No more cocktails for the night. The cocktails are small and they are not potent. Even you as a near teetotaler could handle 3 without a buzz. But you decide that you will return to the bar because it is cozy and because the cocktails are well crafted. Quality over quantity. Your friends and you pay about $ 200 for four persons.


MENU
    


The Other Room
320 Orchard Road, Marriott Hotel, Singapore 238865
tel: +65 8300 6085
M-Th 6pm-3am, F-Sun 6pm-4am

Food & Drinks: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience/decor: 6/10
Price: 5/10


You may be interested in…
Employees Only, Amoy Street
B28, Club Street
Flying Monkey, Kampong Glam
The Library, Keong Saik


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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Visualize Any CSS Stylesheet with CSS Stats

Ever wondered how many CSS rules are in a stylesheet? Or have you ever wanted to see a visual representation of all the colors used in one CSS file? With CSS Stats, you can plug in any website and pull a bunch of raw CSS data to satisfy your curiosity.

And this web app goes so much deeper than just showing all the colors for a stylesheet. You can visualize all z-index values, all font sizes, all media queries and even see a visual specificity graph.

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This app covers so much that it’s practically impossible to consume everything in one sitting. It will give you a tremendous overview of any website just by showcasing what’s in their stylesheet.

To get started, visit the CSS Stats website and plug in any URL you wish. You could also pick from a number of suggested sites such as Facebook, Apple, and Pinterest (among others).

On the results page, you’ll see the total CSS file size in kilobytes, along with a list of the most commonly used properties & declarations. This all appears as one long list of numbers so it can be confusing to read at first.

But the more you use this app the more fun it gets! Here’s a list of everything you’ll find on the stats page:

  • Total # of properties, selectors, and rules
  • All font colors with examples & hex codes
  • All background colors with examples & hex codes
  • All font sizes with examples
  • List of font families
  • List of all z-index values
  • A bar chart of total/unique CSS declarations
  • Specificity graph
  • Total ruleset size
  • All media queries
  • The raw CSS code along with URL links to the individual CSS files

CSS Stats is smart enough to pull all CSS files and merge that data together. The developers put a lot of effort into this thing to get it working just right.

And, the extra awesome part is the full GitHub repo with source code for the entire project. So, you can download this and re-host it on your own server (locally or otherwise) to play around if you wanna dig into the code.

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You have the option of pulling any individual CSS file or parsing all the stylesheets on a single domain. There’s so much you can learn from studying this tool and it offers deeper insight for developers who get down into the nitty-gritty details.

To test for yourself, just visit CSS Stats and plug in a website. You’ll be amazed how much data is available and how much you can learn from such a simplistic tool.

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6 Artsy Things To Do At The Esplanade Annexe Open House This Weekend

A weekend of non-stop fun at Esplanade

Indigoism Barter Market - Haircut

Adapted from source

With dreary routines and overly-frequented hangouts, even chill days can get kinda sluggish. But this time’s bound to be different, with a breath of fresh air coming as Esplanade launches its latest creative space.

To celebrate the inception of Esplanade Annexe, the newest arts and lifestyle space is having a kickass open house this weekend. Indulge in a plethora of activities comprising free performances, beautiful handicrafts and engaging workshops. 

Admission is FOC, so there’s really no excuse to give this event a miss. Here are 5 reasons why your plans for this weekend are undisputably settled: 

1. Experience an eargasm, courtesy of local artists

Get turnt as you lose yourself in E-tracX DJ Skool’s demo session. Taking pride in honing their musicality and turntable skills, they’ve held numerous courses and workshops for aspiring DJs. Let your hair down and try jamming with the folks from this rad academy. 

DJ Marvin Gold

Source: David Howarth 

Also keep an eye out for the set from DJ Marvin Gold, SG’s very own funk master. Prepare to get your groove on as you start moving to his addictive beats. 

The Good Life (SG)

Source

Other than sick DJs, bask in delightful tunes by The Good Life as they launch their new EP. You may have caught this soul & funk band at events such as iLight Marina Bay and Getai Soul previously, and now’s your chance to enjoy their upbeat sound once again.

2. Unleash your artsy side at fun craft workshops

Flower Jar Jamming Workshop

Source: @meadows.clouds

Lift your spirits by spending an afternoon surrounded by flowers at Meadow and Clouds’ Baby’s Breath Floral Wristlet Making and Floral Jar Jamming workshops. You’ll get to take home your beautiful creations too!

Essential oil for aromatherapy

Source

Another noteworthy event is the “first-aid kit” aromatherapy workshop by The Naturalist Grandeur. You get to make your own natural remedy to help with ailments, or rejuvenate your senses. This is a less conventional skill and art to pick up, but who nose? You may just be drawn into the world of aromatherapy after attending the session. 

3. Watch a poetry performance by acclaimed writers and poets

Cyril Wong (SG)

Source

Singapore’s poetry scene is a lot more happening than many of us think. Cue Verse Tapas – a Spoken Word event by National Arts Council’s Youth Poet Ambassador Pooja Nansi, Cyril Wong, Shivram Gopinath, Stephanie Dogfoot and William Beale

Ditch the stereotype that poetry is cheem and only for artsy fartsy people. Be enchanted by words and emotions as you lose yourself in some of these thought-provoking poetic works. 

4. Visit a barter market and trade for a haircut

Haircut at barter market

Source

Go back in time at the Indigoism barter market, where you can exchange a good, skill or service for something else in return. With entirely cashless transitions, you could receive a poetry composition, ceramic ware, have your fortune told or even get a haircut in return! 

5. Check out crafted goods with a unique Singaporean touch

Etsy Crafters in SG

Source

Take a tangible piece of the event home as you patronize eye-catching pop-up stores. Visit Etsy Craftivist SG’s space, where you will be greeted with an array of handcrafted wares made by a local community of Etsy crafters. 

OIC x Supermama Sticker Pack

Source: @supermamasg

Also stop by the Souvenirs From Singapore Pop-Up, where you will find everything tied to the identity of a true blue Singaporean. Check out anything from exclusive HDB & Shophouse stationery kits to the newly launched Supermama X OIC sticker book – the brainchild of five talented Singaporean illustrators. 

6. Devour a whole selection of tasty grub

Supply & Demand pizzas

Source: @pillowbagzzz

What’s an event without food? Sate your growling bellies and fuel up with the free and easy Esplanade X HungryGoWhere Food Trail, where you will get to taste up to 11 signature dishes at various restaurants depending on which trail you choose.

Alter Ego

Source: @alteregosg

Participating food joints include Supply & Demand, Suzette, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant as well as Alter Ego.

Book your slots here before they run out. 

Esplanade Annexe Open House: an event not to be missed

Esplanade Annexe Open House

Source

With lots to enjoy, this creative space is bound to evolve into the new go-to place for fresh experiences. Instead of suffering from FOMO while binging on K-dramas this weekend, make a trip down for some mad fun, and indulge in the hype at this gathering of passionate artists and lifestyle experts. 

Just a heads up: not every programme mentioned earlier in the article will be running on both days, so be sure to check out the deets online before you make your way down! Some workshops and activities will involve a separate fee too. Entrance to the main event itself is free.

Esplanade Annexe Open House Schedule 2017

Date and time: 20 – 21 May 2017. 12PM till late on Saturday and 10AM till late on Sunday.
Venue: Esplanade Annexe (Next to Esplanade Mall)
Nearest MRT station: Esplanade / City Hall

Find out more about the open house here! 


This post was brought to you by Esplanade.

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20 Websites To Sell Your EBook

“If you are good at something, never do it for free” is the most famous dialogue from movie The Dark Knight – and something I completely believe in. If you’re an expert in a certain area, then there is no harm in sharing your knowledge to earn money. And in today’s internet-prone world, one great way to do so is to write and sell an ebook.

20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks

20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks

We understand that reading is the simplest way for human to derive and constructing meaning in order to…Read more

All you need is to make sure you produce quality stuff and then think of a reasonable selling price for it. The former part is completely up to you, however, for the latter part, there are many online services that can assist you well.

In this article, I’ve pulled a list of 20 websites that can help you host and sell your ebook, along with handling the troublesome transaction process. Some even let you keep 90-100% of the sales price. So, let’s take a look.

Payhip

Payhip is an e-commerce website that offers you to sell any type of downloadable digital material, including ebooks. You create a customizable sales page on Payhip for free and it gives you the tools to sell your product, such as discount coupons, share buttons, affiliate program and flexible pricing options. Payhip will simply keep 5% of all the sales you make – simple right?

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Amazon Kindle Direct Publish

You can easily publish your ebooks on the biggest online store Amazon for free. Of course, you will get a huge exposure on Amazon and you get to keep up to 70% of the total sales price.

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amazon kindle direct publish

Blurb

Blurb gives you reliable tools to create that perfect ebook. You can create reflowable ebooks or fixed layout ebooks and blurb will automatically format the book for you in your choice format. You can sell the books to different markets, including Blurb, Amazon, and Apple iBooks Store.

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Lulu

Lulu offers a complete guide on creating perfectly formatted ebooks and then convert them into EPUB or PDF format. If you can’t do it yourself, then Lulu also offers personal service of doing it for you for a tiny fee. Your ebooks can be sold on different publishers with each offering their own royalty.

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lulu

Tradebit

Tradebit is very similar to Payhip as it lets you create a sales page and then helps you sell your ebooks (or any other downloadable material). You can use an affiliate program, set custom price, take advantage of social media integration and sell ebooks on popular markets such as eBay.

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tradebit

NOOK Press

Barnes & Noble offers this self-publishing tool to write and publish your ebook. NOOK Press offers all the tools for free to create and publish your ebooks. The created ebook will be published to millions of NOOK and Barnes & Noble readers. You can check NOOK Press FAQ page for all the details.

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nook press

Kobo Writing Life

A really easy to use self-publishing platform, Kobo lets you publish your ebook in 5 simple steps. Your books will be published on Kobo website for millions of readers. Kobo charges no fee for creating and publishing ebooks, but it does keep a commission on the sales.

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kobo

Smashwords

Smashwords gives you huge visibility by publishing your work over multiple distributors, including Kobo Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, and Smashwords. There is no fee in the publishing process and you get free tools to protect and format your ebooks. You will get 80% royalty on sales from Smashwords and 60% on other distributors.

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smashwords

Scribd

Scribd is a paid reading service that hosts ebooks and other similar content that members can read with a subscription. When the readers will read your ebook, you will be paid as it was sold to them. However, you can only sign up for Scribd using its affiliate companies, including Smashwords, BookBaby, and Draft2Digital, etc.

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scribd

Payspree

Payspree hosts your digital downloadable content and gives you multiple ways to attract customers. You can take advantage of affiliates, social media and dime sales to empower sales. Payspree lets you list only one item for free. You will have to pay $ 1-2 per product or a lifetime membership fee of $ 29.

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payspree

PayLoadz

PayLoads also offers great tools to host your ebooks and sell them online. You will get encrypted download page, shareable buttons, ebooks listed in eBay auctions and affiliate program. PayLoads costs $ 19.95/month with a 2.9% to 4.9% fee on each sale.

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payloadz

E-junkie

Another comprehensive service to host your ebooks and it does all the hard work of selling them for you. You can create a sales page for your ebooks and use power tools like multiple payments support, affiliate programs, protected storage, discount offers, manage inventory, create packages, Google Analytics and more. E-Junkie charges fixed monthly payment based on your needs.

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e junkie

GoSpaces

GoSpaces lets you create a space for free to sell anything you want, including ebooks. It charges only 3% fee on transactions, but you can upgrade to paid version to get a personal domain and decrease fee to 2.5% per transaction. It also offers 15 free tools to manage and customize your space, including slogan generator, logo maker, wallpapers and banner maker, etc.

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gospaces

Feiyr

Feiyr is a paid promotion service for ebooks and music. You can upload your ebook to Feiyr and it will be made available to be sold on over 165 different online stores. Just pay a one-time fee of € 9.90 and start publishing, and you will get to keep 90% of the sales price.

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feiyr

Selz

Selz offers highly customizable packages to create your own sales store and sell products. With the free account, you can list 5 items and access tools like widgets, fraud protection, and analytics tools, etc. Paid membership starting from $ 12.99 gives the ability to list unlimited items and customize the page according to your liking.

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selz

Gumroad

A very flexible platform to setup your online shop, Gumroad lets you personalize your store to your liking and gives you amazing selling opportunities. You can create subscriptions, memberships, direct sales, provide extra benefits, give discounts on actions, customizable DRM and more. And all of this comes with a $ 10 monthly fee and just 3.5% fee on each sale.

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gumroad

Booktango

Booktango is a free service that won’t even charge a fee on transactions. You can upload and sell ebooks and keep 100% of the earnings. Although if you use their custom covers, you’ll have to pay a certain price. Booktango sells the ebooks on its store and other retailers.

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booktango

Clickbank

Clickbank has a really strong affiliate network of 500,000 marketers that will surely boost your sales. It is also a product selling website like others and gives you the ability to create custom forms, subscriptions, fraud protection and much more. You can either keep 50% as royalty or pay $ 49.95 as a one-time fee for your store and pay 7.5% fee on transactions.

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clickbank

BookBaby

BookBaby is quite an expensive service in this list, however, it offers amazing quality and lets you keep 100% of the sales. From writing, formatting, and designing to distributing and completing sales, everything will be handled by BookBaby for a price of $ 149/ebook. Their experts will work side by side to create your perfect ebook using advanced tools and then distribute it to different retailers including BookBaby itself.

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bookbaby

Shopify

For $ 29/month you can access all of Shopify tools to create a fully functional online store. You don’t need any coding skills, it is really easy to use and gives you templates and themes to quickly create a perfect online store. If you do have coding skills, then Shopify gives complete freedom to control HTML and CSS. It also offers multiple opportunities to promote your ebooks, including distributing them over different stores.

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shopify

Time to monetize your ebooks

I will recommend you to start with Payhip if you are new to selling ebooks. It charges less fee on a transaction and doesn’t come with any risks. Although, if you are a professional ebook seller, then BookBaby can really up your game.

I should also mention that all these ebook selling website offer DRM protection for your books and some can even add customer name/information on each page of the ebook.

Top 10 Online Services To Sell Digital Products Effortlessly

Top 10 Online Services To Sell Digital Products Effortlessly

These days, everyone can be a creator. Technology has democratized the creative process, and almost anyone can now…Read more

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Bakery Brera: The Evolution of HDB Bakeries

It is amazing how the HDB bakery has changed over the years!

I still remember the bad old days in the 70’s when there was only one type of bread.  Those were the days before Gardenia introduced sliced white bread which was “so good you can eat it on its own”.  In those days, when mum told me to go buy bread, it meant running down to the kek ai (grocery store) to pick up a loaf of traditional kaya toast bread which the lady would slice on the spot.  They always made sure that they never slice it all the way through, such that all the slices were still attached on one side.  I was told that it was because they didn’t want to severe the relationship with the customer!  Even as a kid, I suspected it was just an excuse to make it easier to pack the loaf into the plastic bag!

I still remember the day mum brought home some hot dog buns from a brand new bakery at Blk 233 Toa Payoh Lor 8.  It was quite a revelation and I fell in love with the soft, sweet, pillowy buns with that first bite.  Nowadays such buns are so common that our kids take them for granted.  But in those days, a pack of fresh buns and a can of Tulip hotdogs was enough to make me happy as a puppy!  (Actually they still make me happy, but the hot dogs have to be upgraded to the deli version)

My earliest memories of European breads was the introduction of baguette sandwiches by Delifrance in the 80’s.  Then in the nineties, bakeries like Cedele started to appear.  Over the last few years, European style breads has started to invade the heartlands with local bakers making the crusty loaves.

Most Singaporeans are familiar with the ubiquitous “French loaf” which is used to accompany curry chicken or fried with eggs to make Roti John.  These “French loaves” have been around for the longest time and was even used in the 50’s to for chilli crabs before they were replaced with the fried mantou.  However, these “French loaves” are probably as close to an authentic French baguette as fried “Singaporean noodles”.

Thankfully, home grown bakeries like Bakery Brera are now making artisanal loaves available in the HDB heartlands!  I’d bet that many people would have walked pass this unassuming little bakery at Empress Mall without even bothering to walk in. (I don’t know why its called a mall when it looks like just another row of HDB shophouses).

I would have done the same too except for the fact that someone had told me that this unassuming little bakery has recently beaten the big boys and got selected to supply the sourdough bread for Wolfgang Puck’s new restaurant at Changi Airport!  What is more surprising is that the baker is a local Malaysian boy who had taught himself how to bake his artisanal loaves from books!

The owners here have made it their mission to provide only all natural loaves made without the use of bread improvers and the breads here are made from French flour using all natural ingredients.  They are also using a locally harvested sourdough starter which was “hatched” right here in the bakery over a year ago!

I love the baguettes here.  When you crack it open, you are greeted with a lovely crumb structure and the aroma of toasted wheat!   I brought one home and had it with some French butter and  was reminded yet again of the adage that the simple things in life are often the best!  4.5/5

It’s already past Easter but they are still  baking their hot cross buns because their customers are still asking for them!  It’s no wonder as these are the best hot cross buns I have come across.  The bread is heavy and doughy and they are filled with five different types of dried fruits.  4.5/5 The croissants are very good but you need to get them when they are straight out of the oven as they turn a little wrinkly after some time.  They also could be a little more buttery, I felt. 4/5

Conclusion

This is a great place for freshly baked, artisanal breads!  And I am so proud of the fact that our local bakers are able to make breads that meet the standards of top chefs like Wolfgang Puck!

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Google Is Bringing Full Android To Cars

By | May 16th, 2017

Getting decent media playback systems into cars is something that manufacturers seem to really struggle with. Whether you are buying a bottom-of the line Honda or a high-end Mercedes, there is a very good chance that the in-car entertainment system is poor – different degrees of poor, admittedly, but both poor nonetheless.

Solutions like Android Auto go some way to helping that plight by allowing Android devices to effectively cast their apps to the dashboard, but it’s more of a workaround than a fix for something that has frankly needed fixing for years. Now Google is trying to do just that.

Taking Android Auto to the next level is something Google announced at last year’s Google I/O, and while this year’s event is just days away, the company has been talking again. Following a Chrysler concept back at CES, we now know that both Audi and Volvo will be making use of the new systems in some of their vehicles in the future.

Today, Audi and Volvo announced they will build Android into their next generation of cars. That means your car’s built-in infotainment system could allow you to control your air conditioning, sunroof, and windows, find the nearest restaurant with Google Maps, listen to Spotify or NPR, or just ask your Google Assistant for help—even when you leave your phone behind.

The idea here is that full Android will run in-car rather than on a connected smartphone, meaning everything should be, well, better. Google shared more information via a blog post on Monday and used both Audi and Volvo in photos that showed both car makers’ work. The interfaces for both differ in such a way to make us think that car companies will be given plenty of room to work without Google’s design language or restrictions getting in the way.

That may be good, or it may be bad – time will tell on that front.

(source: Google)

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Fish-Soup-Bowl

Fish Soup Recipe: Chef Kang’s Secret Ingredient

One of the most memorable fish soup I have ever had was at Chef Kang’s kitchen.  I must have had it three times already and it never fails to satisfy.  I wanted very much to learn how to make it at home and Chef was happy bring me into the kitchen to explain to me the whole process.  One of the ingredients he uses is this little pea like seeds which are slightly tart and very flavourful.  They turn out to be pickled cordia tree seeds (大同樹子) which are a common ingredient used in Taiwan for steaming fish.  I didn’t get the exact recipe from Chef, but I had enough information to come up with a recipe for a delicious fish soup.  Of course, it isn’t as good as the one chef makes, but my wife was quite happy with it and so for me, it’s “win oredi lor!”

Ingredients

Group A
Chicken backbones 9 pieces
Chicken feet 6 pieces
Ginger 5 slices
Water 3 litres

Group B
Chinese cabbage 1/4 head
Tomatoes 2 medium size
Salted plums 3
Pickled cordia tree seeds (大同樹子) 1 Tbsp
Rock sugar 1 Tbsp
Plaice powder 2 Tbsp or fried solefish 2 pieces
Chinese hua diao wine 3 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Carnation milk 3 Tbsp (optional)

Group C
Red Grouper fish head (chopped)
Cornflour 2 Tbsp

Method
1.  Chop chicken back bones into 2 in pieces.  Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the chicken bones and feet for five minutes.  Once you see lots of scum on the top, strain the chicken and throw away the water.  Wash the bones to get rid of any scum.  This will remove all the unwanted blood and off flavours.

2.  Fill the pot with fresh water, add the blanched chicken bones, feet, ginger slices and 2 tsp salt.  Ensure that the water just covers the chicken bones by 1-2 cm.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours.  Strain and set aside.

3.  Add 2 Tbsp salt to the grouper pieces and set aside for 20 mins.  After 20 mins, wash away the salt and dry with paper towels.  Coat with cornflour and deep fry until light brown and set aside.

4.  Add cabbage, tomatoes, cordia seeds, salted plums (include some of the pickling water) to the chicken stock and bring to a boil for 5-10 mins.   Add the fried fish and bring to a furious boil.  The bubbling will help to form an emulsion from the oil and water resulting in a creamier texture.  Boil for 10 mins.

5.  Add sugar, salt and plaice powder and adjust to taste.  Add some carnation milk if you want a creamier soup. Just prior to serving, add the Hua Diao wine.  Serve hot!

Notes:

A good stock is important.  I buy chicken bones from the market.  They sell 3 back bones for $ 1 and I usually buy three packets.  Some chicken feet will add more body to the soup as chicken feet is full of collagen which will give the soup a nice body.  If you can’t get hold of chicken feet, you may dissolve 2-3tsp of gelatine powder and add it to the soup.

Tomatoes, salted plums and pickled cordia seeds all add an extra dimension of flavour and gives the soup that slight tang which goes very well with the fish. Tomatoes and salted plums are often used in Teochew style steam fish.

I find these 大同樹子 pickled cordia seeds very delicious.  They are like little cherries with a pip in the middle.  You can buy these at Yue Hwa.

Chinese cabbage give the soup sweetness and is full of natural umami!

I used red grouper head for this recipe but you can use other fish like batang or snakehead .  The heads give the soup extra sweetness as compared to using only the meat.

After salting the fish to draw out the fishy flavours, wash and pat dry and give it a light coating of cornflour.  The cornflour acts like talcum powder to absorb the excess water so that the oil will not splatter.

Deep frying the fish gives it that extra dimension of flavour and the oil will mix with the soup to turn it milky.  You can omit the deep frying if you feel it is too much trouble.

Make sure the water comes to a furious boil so that the oil in the fish can disperse in the stock to make an emulsion.  If the soup is not creamy enough, you can add some carnation milk or gelatine.

I found this very flavourful plaice powder at Yue Hwa which is not salty and full of that savoury fried solefish flavour.  Very useful ingredient to have in the kitchen to add flavour to soups and stir fries! If you can’t get hold of this, you can buy deep fry some sole fish instead or just omit it.

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Two New Ways to Download Websites for Offline Viewing in Chrome for Android

Back in December 2016, Google rolled out the ability to download webpages for offline viewing for Chrome for Android via the Chrome 55 update. Now, Google is expanding upon this feature as it is giving Chrome for Android users two new ways to save webpages for later viewing.

5 Ways to Read Your Favorite Website Offline

5 Ways to Read Your Favorite Website Offline

When you are on the move, and in the process of travelling, can get no Wi-Fi connection, you…Read more

Method 1 – Through long pressing on the link

Once your Chrome browser is updated, the user needs to long press on any link, causing a dialog box to pop up. In this dialog box, the user will see an option to download the link. Once the download is complete, the user would then be able to access the webpage even if there’s no internet connection.

webpage download link
Method 2 – Through “Download Page Later” button

Where the first method relies on having an active internet connection, the second method works more like the Offline Mode that comes with Google’s own Android app. Should you find yourself being sent to Chrome’s offline dinosaur page, you’ll be able to see a new “Download Page Later” button at the bottom of the screen.

Tapping on this button will cause Chrome to automatically download the page once an internet connection is established.

download page later

In addition to the new methods of saving webpages for offline viewing, Google has also made it easier for you to keep track of pages that you have downloaded for offline viewing.

Upon opening a new tab in the browser, you can now scroll down and see a list of recent downloads without needing to open the Downloads tab. Webpages that are downloaded for offline viewing will also come with a special checkmark.

recent downloaded pages
Google App for Android Now Comes With an Offline Mode

Google App for Android Now Comes With an Offline Mode

If you’re a frequent user of the Google app on your Android device, you may be interested to…Read more

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Pluck – Bringing a New Lease of Life to Local Favourites

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Pluck has its eyes all set on our most familiar memories, bringing together layers of flavours we all love – both the familiar and not-so-familiar. Plus is breaking boundaries, and creating the unexpected. You are in for a gastronomical experience here at pluck as they bring a new lease of life to our local favourites.

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For all my foie gras fans, this is an exceptionally great one. Foie Gras with Chicken Floss ($ 18) is smooth and creamy, the foie gras is elevated by the saltiness of the chinese rou song (chicken floss). The sweet and mildly spicy yellow mustard cuts through the richness of the foie gras, leaving you wanting more. 

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A thai-inspired, mod-sin imaginative twist to our local cereal prawn/fish/sotong/chicken dish, the Tom Yum Cereal Salmon ($ 28) was perfectly cooked. It is so tender, and flakes off easily with the slightest pressure applied. The fish is pink in the middle, and you just know that this is a superbly done salmon before even eating it.  I felt the spicy and tangy tones of the tom yum were not loud enough though. While the cereal bits acted as a nice crust for the salmon, they could be more buttery and crunchy. 

Pluck has raised the bar and redefined what it means to be a gastrobar. Don’t just stop at the tapas – let your tastebuds go wild with their kickass cocktails too.

For the love of good food and good beer, here’s to a plucking good time at pluck! Cheers!

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

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Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Pluck. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

Vivian Ho

Unpretentious thrill seeker and a chef at heart.

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Miss Tam Chiak