Facebook Open Graph: How to get your FB Shares and Likes to Appear Right

I had a problem with the site where if a reader were to share a post or like a page, the resulting box that appeared on Facebook had the wrong thumbnail and shared post excerpt. It was frustrating to see the wrong information being submitted. Luckily, we have since been able to resolve this! This helps to resolve Facebook using the wrong thumbnail and summary for the pages that you share.

Well, the best way to ensure your WordPress site gets recognised by Facebook is to include the Open Graph tags. Facebook Open Graph protocol allows you to share your blog content not only with your readers, but their Facebook friends as well. The best part is whenever someone liked your content(s), it will be published on their Facebook profile and shared with their friends. But that’s not all, Open Graph has a few more advance features which we might explore in future. It allows you to explore more interesting ways to interact and engage with your readers (such as watch a movie, or ate at a restaurant, instead of just liking everything). Ultimately, if this is done right, it builds up your brand and increases your site’s traffic.

HongKiat.com has a very good article that clearly explains  how to integrate Facebook Open Graph with a self-hosted WordPress in a detailed step-by-step guide. It will require editing your existing WordPress theme and creating a Facebook application (if you don’t have one).

However, you may encounter that even after doing this step, when you try to share your old URLs, the information that Facebook displays is inaccurate. If that is the case, it likely means that the Facebook had already crawled your website and created the little preview that you see when you try to share a URL into its cache. This can be frustrating when you are trying to integrate the Facebook Open Graph into an existing website. Other tips recommend that you add slashes to your URL or use a URL shorterner but those just messed up your Facebook analytics. It turns out you can force Facebook to re-crawl or re-cache your site and update its cache by putting your URL into this tool: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug. That seems to shake the cache out.


More Leaks & Updates on the new iPhone 5 / iPod and iPad

Its coming. 

Apple has invited the tech press to a special launch event on 12 September which no doubt means the launch of the next-generation iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5. The event will be happening at 10am in San Francisco, California, and that means 1 am Singapore time on 13 Sep. This marks the long-awaited arrival of the iPhone 5, which many have been eagerly anticipating. What about the iPods? iPads?

From Left to Right: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch

We managed to get hold of some new leaked photos of the iphone 5. So what’s new? The rumours and anticipations were that it will come with a 4″ screen, new dock connector, metal back, and powered by the new iOS 6. The above photo was provided by a highly reliable source and it confirms the larger screen and new dock connector. The new iPhone 5 is also significantly slimmer as compared to the iPhone 4S. Most of the other features have already been confirmed as well such as the latest addition was that of the new battery which match the increase in height for the iPhone 5.

iPhone5 new Dock Connector

So what else does Apple have up its sleeve to wrestle back control of the Smartphone industry back from Google & Samsung? We are anticipating a refresh and update of the iPod Touch alongside the iPhone announcement. We have also recently heard of rumours of the 7.85″ iPad but recent news suggest that it might be delayed till October. I believe that is going to be the case as that would allow Apple to better manage the sales of its two top sellers.

The New iPod (s) Touch, Nano?

The iPod Touch has always been somewhat like a cheaper cousin of the iPhone 5, with lousier camera, specs and other features. In fact, with phones today being so feature-rich, is there still a market for the iPod Touch? My initial guess would have been that Apple would pull the iPod Touch off the market and focus on the iPhone, but on Sep 12, there is going to be a new iPod Touch announced as well. So what’s going to be new? It will definitely come with the improvements, new screen, new dock etc, even slimmer than the iPhone 5, but would that be all? I guess Apple could differentiate it as a pure gaming device targeted at the younger generation who may not own a smart phone. Or perhaps, own a Samsung Galaxy S3 with an iPod Touch to have the best of both Apple and Android.

You might be interested in our related post on: Anticipated Launch Date for the iPhone 5 in Singapore

Outlet.com.sg Closed Down. Were they a scam?

My friend was horrified when he came across news that outlet.com.sg had went bankrupt. Over 600 consumers and merchants have taken their grievances online. They operate similarly to Groupon, and he had bought things from them previously, such as gelato buffets. On hearing the news, we went to check if we had any unused coupons, which thankfully we didn’t. But what will happen to those that do.

The coupon business has been the darling of online shoppers over the last two years. Their short titles grab your attention with “Daily Deals!” and “70% off!”. The deals are no longer as valued for money and many are of the same types: ‘dubious’ travel packages or spas, facials, and bikini waxes! Too many new players, less interest by consumers spells trouble and it appears that the first sign of the bubble popping has appeared with Outlet.com.sg filing for bankruptcy. Yet, only in June, Outlet.com.sg was ranked the 5th highest coupon website in Singapore and there are many more that I have never heard of.

Apparently, since 10 Aug 12, Outlet.com.sg has been placed under liquidaton and there have been many complaints of consumers who have paid but not receive their items.

What you should do if you have unused Outlet.com.sg items:

  1. Join the Outlet.com.sg Victim facebook page
  2. Check with Raffles Corporate Consultants if your item is listed as delivered prior to the filing of insolvency. You may have a chance of retrieving it. This was stated from the website.
  3. Check with your bank or Paypal if you paid by credit card and attempt file a dispute claim. They might be willing to refund you the money. Comments from facebook indicate that successful refunds were obtained from AMEX and POSB. So at least try and see how it goes.
  4. Else, you can choose to file a Proof of Debt (Form 77) for Company Liquidation through IPTO (http://app2.ipto.gov.sg/) Direct link to the form is here. It will cost you $8.

Unless it can be proven that Outlet.com.sg was involved in fraudulent conduct of their business, otherwise under Singapore regulations, once a company has filed for insolvency,

“ their assets would be handled by an independent appointed liquidator. The liquidator would then investigate into the company’s affairs and the conduct of the company’s officers, and make the appropriate recovery from them. All business is ceased and the assets/goods are frozen for computation and distribution. Consumers are considered unsecured creditors and they are paid on a pari passu basis, i.e. they are paid out of the company’s assets equally. Any balance is then distributed among the contributories of the company 

For the distribution of assets, it would be in accordance to:

Section 328 of the Companies Act in the following order:

  • Costs and expenses of winding-up, including the taxed costs of the petitioner and the remuneration of the liquidator
  • Wages or salary including allowance or reimbursement
  • Retrenchment benefits or ex gratia payments under employment contracts
  • All amounts due in respect of workmen’s compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act accrued before, on or after the commencement of winding-up
  • Contributions payable by the company as an employer
  • All remuneration payable to any employee in respect of vacation leave, accrued in respect of any period before, on or after the commencement of winding-up
  • All tax assessed under any written law before the commencement of the winding-up or assessed at any time before the time fixed for the proving of debts has expired ”

And lastly, the unsecured creditors otherwise known as the consumers.

By that time, hopefully there are still some scraps for the consumers, so that’s why my advice really is to not cry over spilled milk. Take it as a lesson (albeit painful) in life and move on. If you are angry and think that I’m just making snide remarks or 风凉话. I just want to share that I have also been a victim of companies that had folded. It was the case of Frankel Motors and my first car purchase in 2008. The episode left a nasty unpleasant taste in my mouth for months. Suffice to say, I lost my deposit after the protracted saga and really, on hindsight, there was not much I could have done about it other than to move on.

So What’s Next for Other Consumers?

Beware of the domino effect. Now that the first has fallen, it just shows that this business model may not be that ideal and we may start to see more such coupon companies follow in the footstep of Outlet.com.sg. If you already have coupons, use them soon!

CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon said, “Consumers should conduct research to ensure the credibility of the business and find out how the group buying system works before making any purchases.” I feel that the Consumers Association of Singapore has really not much power in such instances. In fact, the only resolution from CASE is through meditation and that involves the consent of two parties. CASE could be useful when the company you have a complaint against has a reputation to keep. But in this case for Outlet.com.sg, nothing is left and consumers are out of luck if they pursue this venue.

End of the day, buyers need to be savvy and realise what they are in for. Quite a few comments on the internet suggest that the authorities should step in to prevent such incidents. My opinion? The internet is a free market. Its like buying an iPhone from a Nigerian seller that wants you to transfer him the money first. Would you do it? Since the start of commerce, there have been business deals falling through, bankruptcy being declared, and its normal. Is it fair? I don’t know but I know for sure that is legal. Bankruptcy laws are designed to protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation. Thus, whenever we enter into a transaction, we, the consumer, actually undertake a risk that the deal would not materialise or well, that you acquire a ‘lemon’. Luckily now, there is the lemon law. But for instances where the company declares bankruptcy, this is not going to help you either. And this risk, is exactly the advantage of buying from a reputable dealer, because the risk of them closing or putting their reputation at stake is reduced. Reputation counts and that is why, some people only buy and/or willing to pay more from the bigger, better established companies. Does this mean I am going to stop buying cheap items off unknown sellers from eBay? Nah, but I would be more careful when it comes to more expensive items.

This is a sad day for e-Commerce especially with the growth we have seen in years but its a painful reminder for us to be careful of the risks of internet shopping. Caveat Emptor – Let the buyers beware.

Can't bring Samsung Galaxy SGS3 into SAF camp

Remember that news where you can start bringing camera phones into saf camps?

I got news from the fine print for you. You can’t bring your SGS3, or your Samsung Note into camp. And definitely not your nexus 7.

I know the rule of less than 4.3 inch is an old rule, but they really need to review the regulations in totality.

Now instead of buying a extra non-camera phone, you’ll have to buy an extra camera/but small size phone for use in saf camps. Isn’t the end result the same. People just want to be able to use the latest model of phones.

A better approach is developing software that would disable your camera the moment you enter saf camps. This can be done by GPS/ Mobile triangulation, or even NFC technology. I know there are companies doing it. Here is one example.

Nexus 7 – 3G & Singapore Launch Date

It has only been a couple of months since the Nexus 7 launch but rumours are abound that  a 3G version is currently in the works and would be launching soon. Currently, there are no other expected hardware changes to the Nexus 7, other than the inclusion of 3G.  With the imminent launch of the 7.85 inch iPad Mini and the new Amazon Kindle, this move by Google could help maintain the tablet’s popularity. At its low price point, the Nexus 7 could be the next tablet highly sought after by companies to distribute to their staff who require data-connection on the go. It’s a great tool for field engineers or sales staff.

Comparing an ASUS transformer 3G vs wifi, the price difference was $100. I’m guessing it will be similar, so you might be looking at our telcos offering it for 400sgd. Do I need 3G on my tablet? I have had 2 tablets without 3G and I never found myself looking for a 3G connection. I always have my phone in such a situation.  So I recommend sticking to the non-wifi version. But hey, at least there is one additional option now.

On another note, one of the surprises of Comex 2012 was the announcement of Starhub giving out free Nexus 7 for contracting with them for their Broadband services. Starhub has informed its customers that the collection date would be from 30 Oct 2012. This is likely to be the launch date for the Nexus 7 in Singapore which is still a good two months away. Why wait? With international warranty by Asus available and the expected high launch price in Singapore, the Nexus 7 is still a bargain if you get it from USA and shipped it over through vPost. Early adopters get a free US$25 Google Play credit and US$10 prepaid NFC card from Google. We aren’t sure how long these promotions would last so for Nexus 7 owners, do login to get them before they expire.

Already own a Nexus 7? Here are some of the gear that we think are important for your Nexus 7.

How can I setup Yahoo mail for Samsung Galaxy S3

I don’t use Yahoo email but I heard this query from my friend today. Apparently, if you have a name@yahoo.com.sg or other country suffix such as .co.uk, the automatic setup for Yahoo mail through the built in email application would not work.

To setup these accounts:

  1. Launch Email
  2. Enter the email account and password and tap Manual setup. Selecting next would result in automatic configuration and that is not working.
  3. Choose between IMAP or POP3. POP3 access would need to be enabled first. This can be done through the Yahoo Mail website via your computer. It can be found under Options -> Mail Options -> POP & Forwarding
  4. Fill in the incoming server settings and tap Next.
    Incoming Server:
     imap.mail.yahoo.com (ignore the country suffix, .sg or .co.uk)
    Port: 993 (requires SSL)
    User name: full email address (for example, bill@yahoo.com.sg)
  5. Fill in the outgoing server settings and tap Next.
    Outgoing Server:
    465 (requires SSL/TLS)
  6. On Account options screen, select the timing for Email check frequency, tick Sync  Email and tick Notify me when email arrives.
  7. That’s it. You’re done.

Hope it helps those who are trying to configure or setup your Yahoo! Mail on your Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S5 and for your Samsung Galaxy Note 2/3 as well. If Yahoo is your primary email address, how about using the Yahoo Mail App instead? Search Yahoo Mail on Google Play. It’s designed just for your Android phone and provides push mail, i.e. get instant notifications when new mail arrives.

SG!TV – Plugin for XBMC and Plex for Singapore TV

The SG!TV Plugin or Channel for XBMC/Plex is launched.  SG!TV allows you to re-watch or catch up the local Mediacorp (Singapore) shows that you have missed direct from your HTPC client. Miss last night channel 8 drama serial?  Fire up the app and look for the show or find it through the latest highlights.  This is the current beta version but both browsing of channels and the latest shows are all working. It is currently working for Singapore viewers only as I believe the website does check for the IP location before allowing access to the stream. Also, it works great for our overseas friend as well, so if you are a Singaporean staying aboard, this is a great way to watch or catch up your favourite Mediacorp shows. The screenshots below show the XBMC client and the local channels  that are available.

XBMC – Channel Select
XBMC – Episode Select
XBMC – Playback


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Some major updates to the SG!TV Plugin.

It now shows Channelnewsasia video and live feed if you are based in Singapore.

There’s also local wahbanana channel for some random laughs.

Lastly, there’s Viddsee.

Viddsee is a local Singapore start up that curates the best short films from Asia. Viddsee serves up seven recommended short Asian films for your viewing pleasure each week on the home screen.

Currently, both the XBMC and Plex plugins are at a similar stage of development. It has currently been tested on both the Windows version of XBMC and Plex. As XBMC uses a unified software base, it should work across all the platforms. As for Plex, there are some problems in playing the stream directly through clients that do not support the stream protocol and the transcoding option should be set to preferred. This was verified on my Android devices. Next up are the screenshots of the Plex channel.

Plex – Channel Select
Plex – Episode Select
Plex – Playback

As for the bugs / Upcoming feature list:

  1. Unable to get episodes of shows if it span across multiple pages.
  2. Option to select stream quality. Currently it plays the highest available.
  3. Search function to be incorporated.
  4. to be discovered!


Appreciate if you do not direct link to the files, instead refer them to my website, thanks. Also, if you like the plugin, help me share or like this page on Facebook so that the word gets around. Thank you!

(PLEX) – SGtv.bundle

Installation instructions:

For Plex :

  1. Go to C:UserUsernameAppDataLocalPlex Media ServerPlug-ins
  2. Unzip the folder
  3. Restart your Plex Media Server
  4. Start your Plex Media Client and navigate to the channels directory
For XBMC :
  1. Get it from the official XBMC repository

Thanks for reading. I hope you like the Plugin / Addon and if you have any comments or suggestions, I look forward to receiving your feedback.