For the next two weeks I will be a one-woman show, doing the work of three persons and acting on behalf of the whole team. Today I finished work 2 hours later than everyone else, and I hope it doesn’t get worse than this.
Anyway, I do have a few things to say about current happenings:
The new Straits Times. What do you think of it? I love the print design. I’ve always been a sucker for good content and layout. However I don’t think the website underwent major changes. In fact I was slightly put off by having to register for news now. Jakob Nielsen once advised to delay customer registration as far as possible.
Many quality dailies worldwide allow you to access archives far back in the vaults of time without extra charge (here’s another Nielsen article which concludes that retaining older content increases page views). The more well-known papers can get away with user registration (Washington Post, LA Times). One or two (NY Times, WSJ) might even get away with subscription fees in some form or other, because of the high value their services bring.
So I don’t get why we have to register and still only receive the past 7 days’ worth of news.
As I’m typing, CNA is announcing that an Aussie has been sentenced to hang for trafficking drugs. His last appeal relies on President Nathan. I wonder how our President feels. If he pardoned him, would that defeat the purpose of having strict drug laws, and seem an injustice to all other convicts who have been hanged? If he doesn’t pardon him, would he feel guilty about it?
It is indeed a very difficult decision to make – much, much harder than our Minister of Law who rejected countless appeals from people like me, so that we could pursue law as a career in Singapore.


  1. Serdar Kilic

    Could you elaborate on the point on why one cannot pursue a career in Law in SG? What’s the hold up ?

  2. calmone

    I think the online Straits Times sucks like a good vacuum cleaner.
    Here’s why:
    1. It’s dripping with tables!!!
    2. Nothing done for accessibility at all, not even alt text! The web designer must be a Nazi!
    3. No RSS
    4. No permanent archive, unless you pay and pay.
    5. And of course, the registration. What was completely off-putting was the kind of information they asked for, like salary etc. Of course the info I put in was fictitious. But to be fair, contra-Nielsen, I think they can afford to impose registration because they are the leading sg paper. That’s why I still registered even after a few hours of rejections.

  3. vantan

    Serdar – Please refer to this page for more information. Previously, people on distance learning courses could become lawyers in Singapore. Then things became much tougher and you could only do it in certain universities in the UK, or in Singapore (didn’t get a place there). However if you did it in the UK you needed better grades to make it through (didn’t get it). However there were rare occasions where the Minister of Law could grant your appeal so you could still get called to the Bar. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of them. This was incidentally at a time when there was a shortage of lawyers.
    calmone – Good points. I’ve given up with hoping for RSS. Our local publications don’t get it. They probably want the banner ad hits, so why should they encourage us not to visit their site? The only one I notice that uses RSS is Hardwarezone.com.
    Any more to add?

  4. calmone

    I wouldn’t expect STi to “get it” so soon. They are sooo far behind the tech curve, I doubt they even know what RSS is about, let alone be considering the ads issue. Of course, now that they require registration, it’s a step backwards, from RSS and everything else. Anyway ads and RSS aren’t mutually exclusive; engadget are one of those early ones that combine both.

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