Monthly Archives: July 2011

Keyboard shortcuts (for PC)

Nothing new here, but just thought I’d have this as a reminder… if only MacOS has these shortcuts, or at least some of them!
15 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Enhance Your PC Productivity 

Ever wondered what it is like to be able to complete your tasks in half the time? How come your peers are able to find time to play games while still completing their assignments in timely fashion? Perhaps they had some additional help you are not aware of, but have always been right in front of you.

No doubt you will have noticed the disruption and loss of time in switching your hands between the keyboard and mouse. Luckily wizards at Microsoft have been adding some little-known but time-saving keyboard shortcuts into their operating systems over the years. As a matter of fact, some really handy ones have been built right into Windows 7 and most modern web browsers. If improving your process flow is on your to-do-list, and maybe impress your bosses along the way, read on to find out more.


1. Move the cursor one word at a time

This trick will allow you to navigate the text word by word instead of letter by letter.


2. Select one word at a time

How about selecting entire words instead of letter by letter? This is what does the trick, selecting your text word by word.


3. Delete entire words

Doubt there is a faster way of “bulldozing” through your unwanted text than this.


4. Select all text in the current line relative to the cursor

Instead of reaching for that mouse, try selecting your whole line of text with this.


5. Minimize all windows

Keep this trick handy if you like to Facebook in office.


6. Cycle between windows

Well this is certainly an eye-catching shortcut. Try it to see what I mean.

7. Lock the computer

Heading to the pantry for a quick bite? What better way to spend more time in the pantry than locking down your PC.

8. Launch the Task Manager

System’s hanging? Disable the troubled application with this trick.

9. Take a screenshot of the active window only

Cropping down a screenshot with multiple windows is a major pain, especially if you are a desktop real estate magnate. Capture a shot of your active window with this trick.

10. Rename a file

Forget about the right-clicking method, for this works with multiple files as well.


11. Zoom in and out

A common trick applicable to major applications, including browsers, word processors and Photoshop.

12. Return to default zoom

Done with the part requiring magnification? Use this trick to get your normal view.


13. In Browser: Open a new tab

If you prefer to run searches with a new tab, this is bound to be handy.

14. In Browser: Reopen closed tab

Definitely one of the most important tricks in the book; if you accidentally close your webpage while on something important, this will save your butt.

15. In Browser: Focus cursor on URL/search field

Why run through your massive list of Favourites if the URL has been etched into your memory?

There are plenty more shortcuts built into Windows and modern applications and it is up to you to perfect their use. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. In no time you will be able to speed up your processing speed and have plenty of room to plan your personal appointments after work.




Political affray in Malaysia: Taken to the cleaners | The Economist

Greenkim: I was back in KL the weekend before, and it was a tensed up city… the events leading up the weeks before were horrific. The few days before July 9th, roadblocks were set up and causing mile-long traffic snarl, with people spending more than double of their travelling time – up to 3 hours for some… and they were going to work at 6am! Well, I remember getting caught in this back in 2007 (before I came down to Singapore)… Anyway, while the rally did take place, let’s just hope the voices of the rakyat (people) are heard, and that there will indeed be fair elections come 2013! Malaysia, tanah tumpahnya darahku (Malaysia, the land of my blood origin).

An overzealous government response to an opposition rally

Jul 14th 2011 | SINGAPORE | from the print edition

MALAYSIA is one of South-East Asia’s stabler nations; but a rally in Kuala Lumpur on July 9th in demand of electoral reform turned surprisingly nasty, leading to the arrest of more than 1,600 people. The police fired tear gas and water cannon into the crowd, and one man died of a heart attack. All those arrested were released fairly quickly, but Amnesty International, a London-based human-rights group, called it “the worst campaign of repression in the country for years”. The government’s reaction showed a lot of nervousness about how much opposition it can tolerate.

In fact the crackdown started a few weeks ago after “Bersih 2.0” announced that it was going to stage the rally. Bersih, also known as The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, is a loose alliance of NGOs and activists (bersih means “clean”). It argues that all candidates should be given access to the mainstream media and that indelible ink should be used to stop people voting more than once. It all sounds uncontroversial, but not to the government. Bersih was declared illegal on July 1st and about 200 activists were rounded up. The march itself was then banned, although the authorities offered Bersih a stadium to meet in—and then withdrew the offer.

Perhaps the government was looking back nervously to the first Bersih march, in 2007. On that occasion, too, thousands protested against the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government and demanded reform. Subsequently, in the 2008 general election, the BN lost its largest share of votes since 1957 when it started ruling the country after the British left. The current prime minister, Najib Razak, deputy prime minister in 2007 before taking over the top job in an internal party coup, must have feared that the second Bersih rally might be a similar portent. He has to hold an election before 2013, but wants to do so earlier to win his own mandate. Opposition politicians were quick to join Bersih. The pre-eminent leader of the opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, was shoved to the ground and injured in the affray.

None of this bodes well for Malaysia. The heavy-handed police tactics have provoked a lot of anger; the government has conceded an official investigation into claims of police brutality. In one instance (caught on film), police seemed to fire tear gas and water cannon into a hospital where protesters were sheltering from a baton charge. Few old laws were left untouched in the attempt to round up suspects before the march. It was reported that 30 people arrested in Penang were investigated under Section 122 of the Penal Code for the charge of waging war against the king. Dragging in the constitutional monarch, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, seemed particularly desperate, reminiscent of the abuse of the monarchy’s position in neighbouring Thailand. On the eve of the rally, the king came out with a statement reminding everyone that “street demonstrations bring more bad than good, although the original intention is good.”

Mr Najib defended the police and accused the marchers of sowing chaos. Dismissing the motives of Bersih, he cast it as a desperate attempt by Mr Anwar to grab power. The immediate upshot is that Mr Najib may choose to delay calling for an election for some time, to let things settle down. He presumably hopes that if he waits long enough, people will have forgotten about this ugly incident. But the longer-term effects are hard to judge. It might also help to unite a fractious opposition against what they portray as an assault on democracy.

from the print edition | Asia


Here’s another article:

Crackdown in KL


Can Innovation Really Be Reduced To A Process? | Co. Design

Greenkim: we don’t need to even say lack of innovation since the majority of my peers are lack of processes… design thinking is just a fad, i must say. i appreciate the debates around it but i do not appreciate implementation of multiple ideas which in turn convolutes innovation! welcome to my world…

Helen Walters on the persistent problems with design thinking, and the attempts to graft its processes onto businesses.

Rumors of the failure of design thinking  appear to have been somewhat overblown. At the recent Design Research conference in Seattle, the consensus reportedly held that whether or not you like the term, design thinking is here to stay. At a recent panel discussion in New York, “Design Thinking: Dead or Alive?” it was hard to find any of the speakers (of which I was one) quibbling with more than the fact that it wasn’t a very interesting question.

Nonetheless, it’s also somewhat hard to find many fervent supporters of design thinking. Designers I’ve talked to still bristle at a phrase they see as subtly maligning the validity of the rest of their work. Executives meanwhile, still seem baffled by the term, even if they quite like the general idea of adding design into the business mix.

A repeatable, reusable practice contradicts the nature of innovation.

The latest book on the topic is Designing for Growth, a “design thinking toolkit for managers” and it provides a pretty good snapshot of how people are thinking about the discipline right now. Namely, that the reins of design thinking lie firmly in the hands of executives. In this world, design thinking is shorthand for the process implemented in a more creatively driven type of workshop, one involving visual thinking, iteration and prototyping. In this world, you don’t have to be a designer to be a design thinker, and the process has been codified as a repeatable, reusable business framework.

This is all, arguably, fine. But mostly it unwittingly highlights the true tension at the heart of the design thinking debate. A codified, repeatable, reusable practice contradicts the nature of innovation, which requires difficult, uncomfortable work to challenge the status quo of an industry or, at the very least, an organization. Executives are understandably looking for tidy ways to guarantee their innovation efforts — but they’d be better off coming to terms with the fact that there aren’t any.

There are certainly ways to make them less of a random shot in the dark, and most companies could use some help in thinking about innovation in a more systematic, organized fashion. But design thinking is no magic key to a secret kingdom of innovation. Coating a veneer of design processes on the top of innovation initiatives that will promptly be stymied by internal bureaucracy or politics doesn’t help anyone. In fact, as we’ve seen, it’ll frustrate designers, who find themselves with the unfulfilling role of making Post-it notes look pretty, and it’ll disappoint executives, who feel like they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

Coating design processes atop internal bureaucracy doesn’t help anyone.

Another problem: The question of when design thinking is actually appropriate remains unanswered and apparently unclear to many. The authors of Designing for Growth outline their own experiment in design thinking–as applied to the design of their book’s cover. It’s meant as a cute interlude, but it highlights a huge issue: A book cover is not a design thinking problem, it’s a graphic design problem. The last thing executives need is to imagine that they must immerse themselves in a complex program of prototyping when really they’d be better off commissioning someone trained in a discipline for which they themselves have exhibited neither interest nor aptitude. Design is a skill all right, and thank heavens for those who are good at it.

The real problem of course is that when it comes to large programs of innovation, the contrasting practices and systems of business and design continue to be a stumbling block to progress. Until senior leadership figures out how to get teams working together harmoniously, they won’t make much of it. Note: The onus for that rapprochement isn’t merely on the business side. At that recent panel event in New York, one of the speakers recounted a project in which she and some other professional designers had engaged in a design-thinking exercise. They had all become terribly bored, she remembered. “We were too good!” she said. Too good at what, precisely? Too good at the process of visualizing ideas, maybe. But that’s just one part of innovation, which is only successful when it creates actual value, which requires taking those ideas and figuring out how to make them fly in the marketplace.

For designers to have strategic impact, they need to work with managers to ensure that the business elements of a project are being catered to, too. That might not play to the innate strengths of designers, but it’s vital for leaders to figure out ways for everyone to get along so that innovation can be a team sport. Otherwise, we’ll be left with bizarre stories such as the one that ran recently in The New York Times, with a Smart Design director arguing that the Flip camera was, in fact, just about perfect. Just not so perfect that Cisco didn’t decide to discontinue making the product. Executives don’t always make the right decisions, of course, and perhaps Cisco management did make the wrong call in this instance. But proclaiming that smartphones had no bearing on that discussion and arguing that all of the design decisions were correct smacks of hubris and myopia. Design doesn’t — shouldn’t — live in a bubble and designers need to bridge the divide between their world and business, not just lob ideas over the fence and hope for the best. As it stands, it takes a particular type of person who can span those two worlds. Those are the must-hire employees of the future.

The contrasting practices of business and design continue to be a stumbling block.

Perhaps some designers will welcome the passing of the design thinking baton to executives. Perhaps they’ll be relieved to see design thinking shaking out as a useful problem-solving approach for executives to use when appropriate. But to me, this shift emphasizes the need for leaders of both business and design to further clarify understanding of who does what, when. Design should neither be aggrandized nor trivialized. But it feels like it could play an infinitely more significant role if only those involved could figure out more convincing ways to articulate its value. For now, the real issue with design thinking is that executives run with it as they see fit, design practitioners continue to shrug their shoulders at the discussion, and corporate continues to trump creative. Given the real need for innovation in every part of culture and society, that seems like the biggest problem of all.


[Top image by Barnaby Kerr]

Helen Walters

Helen Walters is a writer, editor and researcher at innovation consultancy Doblin, part of the Monitor Group. A New York City-based journalist, with experience editing and pub… Read more



Why Marketers Should Use Assist Keywords |



Greenkim: we are already using assist keywords in our clients’ projects unconsciously… at least, I know I have been. It has proven to point consumers to the right direction – just like how the article below says it… I’d call this the GPS for world wide web navigation! 🙂


  |  July 15, 2011

As travellers we have often come across vague directions to a place. Some dilapidated, many incorrectly spelt, and few pointing the opposite direction! Frustrating? In a word, yes. The fun is ruined if the directions make us go around in circles.

Similarly, for a consumer, the path to purchase is punctuated by twists, turns, roundabouts, and crossroads. During this journey, the consumer has to often find out about the product through intricate search engine result acrobatics. This takes away considerable time and increases the clicks required by consumers, ensuing in indifferent or lukewarm consumers. How do marketers get past this possible block in their ecommerce process?

The trick is to use assist keywords.

Normally, consumers use a flurry of generic keywords to end up on your site. In most consumer search cases, you will find a preliminary search exercise comprising of generic search terms and the next comprising of slightly more specific terms that the user has scouted from your web pages. These primary keywords are the ones that primarily help in hooking your consumer up with relevant information to land on your website. Cool?

For advertisers, it is very hard to know what the searcher’s intent is. For e.g. when they hit ‘Blue Car’ on the search box, do they mean a toy car, a brand called BlueCar or a blue Ford Mondeo? These signals are hard to fathom. With the help of a few assist keywords such as ‘car’ or ‘toy’, advertisers can help reduce the search process, thus reducing the purchase cycle.

Now, on scouring through your analytics graphs and data you will find that a few new keywords, apart from your preliminary keyword list, are used closer toward the purchase process than others. These new keywords are called assist keywords. So in short, assist keywords are used to enrich or boost your keyword inventory, thereby leading to a purchase. Sounds like you’ve hit gold, doesn’t it?

As usual, there are two sides to the coin. The assist keywords can be highly generic (owing to ease of search) in which case bidding for these keywords can be bothersome. But at other times, the assist keywords are specific which means they aren’t exactly mainstream and hence bidding is a breeze.

In some ways these assist keywords are unsung heroes of a brand’s search marketing campaign. They increase the probability of your preferred audience reaching your brand or product portal on fewer clicks. This translates to driving information and thus sales, faster.

However, whatever goes up, must come down and so there’s a downside to all this. There’s no specific way to deduce assist keywords. It only grows from strength to strength depending on the campaign manager’s experience on similar campaigns and the present campaign by itself. Ergo, assist keywords are absolutely vital in tweaking an ongoing search marketing campaign.

So if you want a faster, easier, and lighter search process for your consumers, try assist keywords. They work. Period.