Graham Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.
Truth or Consequences
No matter how many ways one looks at it and however
favourably through rose tinted spectacles, any leveraging via structured
products involved with property and mortgage markets still continues to unwind
as fast as possible.
What is worse is that most people still do not know or understand how the
pricing of these products works and a lot of analysts and economists continue to
believe that the wool is still being pulled over their eyes.
Bob Parker, vice-chairman of Credit Suisse Asset Management, recently announced
that the worst of the sub-prime mortgage crisis would be over within weeks. What
a load of rubbish; it has not even started yet. Anyway, what would he know? His
comment would probably have carried more weight had it not come from someone at
Credit Suisse, which had to announce only a few days after reporting good Q4
earnings, that it would be writing down an additional USD2.85 billion due to
unspecified “mis-markings” by a group of traders. Whoops!
The credit problems of the last year that has so affected the
financial and banking elite could well suggest we have seen a fundamental
changing of the guard during this period of acute financial disfunction. Chart
1, for example, shows the recent price history of Chicago’s Vix index, a market
estimate of future volatility for the S&P 500 stock index.
If you ignore the short term spike that occurred mid-2005, the Vix’s longer term
trend basically indicated that volatility was on the way out. Then sub-prime hit
us for six.
Credit Suisse may truly think that the worst is over. Others, more in touch with
the real world, reckon that the US economy has hit a barrier and could well take
a lot longer to recover than normal. Even Alan Greenspan is in this camp.
Bank of England Deputy Governor Rachel Lomax recently announced that due to the
credit crunch, central banks all over the world now had to face their “largest
ever peacetime liquidity crisis,” as “each week seems to highlight some new
dimension of the ensuing disruption to core financial markets.”
Gavekal Research show on Chart 2 that the last 35 years has seen a real decline
in the volatility of growth.
Chart 3 indicates that when there is lower volatility in
growth then there is more profitability.
However, the USD64,000 question is how long can this last? Are these trends
capable of lasting forevermore? Let us look at this. Corporate profits in the
US, when compared to US GDP, had never been higher than they were in 2007.
Now, given the property market in the US and elsewhere is hurting and that the
financial sector has also taken a right battering, it does not seem unreasonable
to think that the corporate expectations for profits and growth this year are
simply ridiculous and no more than pie in the sky projections from people who
have to keep their jobs.
If the above paragraph is true then it is not too hard to believe that anyone
who thinks the ‘permanently’ low economic volatility will almost guarantee a
continued high Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio is in for a rude shock in 2008. Just
look at the financials over the last year or so. If this is any guide to the
broader market, the ‘P’ could well get mauled and the ‘E’ would soon follow.
One journalist, from the Financial Times, was gobsmacked by
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s decision to ‘bet the ranch’ by moving
the majority of its assets from bonds into equities. Obviously, equities usually
outperform in the long run, but in certain situations this can be longer than
you or I can stay solvent. In the same article, a specific mention was made
about Asia, and the effect it is having on the price rises in relation to
“The China effect is crucial. In contrast to the shock increase in the world’s
labour supply, which for some years proved dis-inflationary, the acceleration in
per capita incomes points the other way. It produces a multiplier effect on
consumption of raw materials, to say nothing of strains on the environment. The
result - too much money chasing too few resources... The result... will be a
hoovering up of investment by resource sectors generally, including water, waste
disposal and alternative energy... In the 1970s, resource-based portfolios were
alone in producing real returns… Meanwhile, equities in general will suffer from
the higher risk premium due to economic instability, and bonds from higher
Recently, we wrote about the incredible rise in soft commodities prices. We are
great believers in this asset class. However, you must not put all your eggs in
one basket. People know our fund managers are Miton Asset Management who are
among the best in the world when it comes to multi-asset investment. The reason
they are usually at the top of their asset class is that they are ahead of the
herd and take a contrarian approach. This meant that you went against the flow
and bought out of favour investments at very low prices.
For this year, contrarianism in 2008 may well be to be about, effectively,
endorsing the speculative trend - but keeping the faith for the longer term. To
use an analogy, shorter term price action is just about the weather; longer
term, secular, sustainable and fundamental trends amount to climate. For
example, in the commodities markets, even more than in stock-picking, ‘buy and
hold’ may well out-perform trading strategies.
No rational investor should elect to allocate 100% of their liquid capital into
one asset class, i.e. commodities and nothing else. However, he/she could be
half right - in that investment right now into every distinct asset class
requires extreme selectivity and care. Given the heightened volatility of the
resources sector at present, and the marked disconnect between the level of
equity indices (borderline euphoric) and the tone of credit markets (borderline
suicidal), that seems like an eminently reasonable conclusion. And that is why
we use Miton Asset Management.
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its
officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above
article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any
actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For
more information please contact Graham Macdonald on
Snap Shots: by Harry Flashman
Photograph Songkran without drowning
do not like Songkran. If it were one day it would be fun, but days of
being soaked, is not. However, there is no getting away from the fact
that Songkran is a festival you should photograph - even if it is only
once! I will also admit that the first time I experienced this annual
water throwing event, I too thought it was fun.
By the way, despite what you may be told, this is not a uniquely ‘Thai’
festival, but one that is celebrated in many countries in SE Asia, hence
those who would like to flee must go further than the immediate
As a visual spectacle it is definitely worth recording for posterity,
but this should not be done at the expense of your camera equipment. As
mentioned, this is a water festival, and cameras and thrown water (and
powder and ice) do not mix. (For that matter, water throwing and alcohol
do not mix either, which is just one of the reasons for the horrendous
Since great volumes of water will be thrown (despite the fact that
Thailand is always in the throes of a drought) this does offer some
great photo opportunities, but unfortunately also presents some great
opportunities to permanently damage your expensive camera gear.
There are several ways around this problem. The first is to go all out
and buy a Nikonos underwater camera at the cost of many thousands of
baht. These are a wonderful underwater camera but for this instance -
totally impractical, unless you want to stand at the side of the road in
a full wet-suit!
The second way is to purchase a fancy plastic underwater housing for
your own camera. Now these can range in price, depending on complexity.
Built like a perspex box to house your camera, you can operate all the
adjustments from the outside. These are not cheap either, and the
cheapest in the range is literally a plastic bag with a waterproof
opening and a clear plastic section for the lens. You open it up and
literally drop your camera inside it and seal the bag. These can be
purchased from major photographic outlets and I did spot one in a
photo-shop for B. 750.
A third way is a waterproof disposable (yes, they do make them). Good
for about three meters, so perfectly suitable for splashing water. If
you can’t get one of those, then even the ordinary cheap disposables are
a better option than getting your good camera gear doused. I must admit
to having dropped one of these overboard one day and the boatman jumped
in and rescued it. It survived the dip and the final pictures were fine.
But neither I, or the manufacturer, recommend this!
So now let’s get down to some serious photo techniques to get that magic
Songkran shot. Since you are trying to capture the movement of the
water, a slow shutter speed will help. Hand-held you are probably not
going to get down below 1/30th, but you could try some at 1/15th, it’s
not impossible, especially if you are using a wide-angle lens.
However, since you are trying to get far enough away to keep the camera
dry, you may be forced to use the longer lenses which means you cannot
hand-hold at even 1/30th. The answer here is to find a good vantage
point, some distance from the action, and use a tripod.
If you are going down this route, then the best vantage point is a high
one. First floor balconies get you high enough to escape the water, but
not too high that you cannot get into the activity with a 150 mm lens or
longer. Since you will be using a tripod, I would even set the shutter
speed slower than 1/30th, and a few ‘experimental’ shots at 1/8th or
even 1/4 of a second are worth trying. Remember that some ‘blurring’
denotes motion in the final photograph, and at Songkran there is plenty
Finally, you can always cheat by photographing through the windscreen of
the car, as I did with this week’s photo! “Chok di bi mai! May your
camera stay dry!”
by Dr. Iain Corness, Consultant
You never had it so good
My mother is in hospital in the UK. She has been there for
three weeks, but she should not be there. Why? Because she is merely taking
up a bed because the doctors in charge of her case have not yet made a
diagnosis, so she must stay in for further tests.
All that sounds quite reasonable, until you find out that to have an
echocardiogram there is a wait of several days, and another wait for the
results. Ditto for the 24 hour Holter monitoring. Ditto for blood tests.
Ditto for anything else.
I do manage to talk to my mother. You ring the hospital and then get the
telephone number of the ward she is in, as they cannot transfer your call,
as there is some problem with the switchboard. Then you ring the ward
directly, and the nurse will give you the telephone number of the phone they
take to the bedside. “But please wait a few minutes, so we can take it to
her while she waits for your call. You’re lucky today, the phone wasn’t
working last week.” So eventually you do get to speak to each other.
In the chat, I find out that mother had a fall while in hospital and has
hurt her hip. She cannot get about and now has to use a Zimmer hopper.
Previously she could walk normally. I asked if she had had an X-Ray of the
Now to put you right in the clinical picture, my mother is 91 years old, but
totally with it mentally. However, her skeleton is showing the effects of 91
years on the planet. She has osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) that comes
with age. In a previous fall some years ago, she broke her arm. As my
radiologist son in Australia said when I told him of the latest details on
his grandmother, “Any 91 year old who has a fall on to a hip has a fractured
neck of femur until proved otherwise.”
So I rang the hospital and asked to speak to the doctor looking after her. I
am sure he is a thoroughly nice chap, but it took me two days to manage to
track him down in the hospital, I do hope there were no emergencies also
trying to contact him in that time. He agreed that an X-Ray of the hip would
be in order, so he promised he would arrange it. Of course that took a
couple of days, and the results likewise, but he assures me there was no
fracture. I wish I could have as much faith in his diagnostic ability with
X-Rays as he has. It would have been nice to get the hospital in the UK to
email me the digital X-Rays for my radiologists here to look at, and also to
young Dr. Corness in Australia. Unfortunately, this was not possible, and
the treating doctor did not know if the hospital had an email address. I
shouldn’t complain, as in 1815 when they laid the foundation stone for the
hospital, the UK was a little too busy celebrating the Battle of Waterloo to
worry about emails.
But back to mother occupying a bed in the UK for three weeks. The biggest
hold-up seems to be the fact that the cardiologist hasn’t seen her yet, and
it is he who wants further tests. To bring you right up to date, mother has
had a series of ‘fainting’ attacks causing the falls. I have witnessed one
and the latest was while she was in the hospital, so presumably witnessed by
the nursing staff, even if the doctor was still being elusive. There is a
I asked the treating doctor why mother was yet to see the ‘Great Man’ and
was told that he had been on holidays, there was Easter, and there was only
one cardiologist. So mother (and I) are still waiting.
In Thailand, the entire process would have taken three days at the outside.
And I know the NHS is supposedly “free”, but is actually paid for by the
public purse, filled by the taxpayers! With private medicine in Thailand,
you really never had it so good!
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Tell that English guy who wanted to leave his gal “something to remember me by”
the perfect gift, which, she will love and remember daily, with affection one
hopes, is an English baby - no cost and lasting a lifetime.
Aren’t you the nice one! Have you left many gifts of this type yourself? I am
not sure about the “no cost” aspect. There are laws in most countries, through
which the cost factor catches up. There is also the cost to yourself when the
“lasting a lifetime” baby grows up and comes looking for you. Not such a good
plan, Don. By the way, are you a banker, by any chance? The concept of making a
small deposit and watch it grow definitely has banking overtones.
Your comments to some farangs are interesting, and mostly true; this American
guy who goes to bars and want to have his beer with silence, has come to wrong
city, he should have seen it in first day arrival to Pattaya (luckily he didn’t
come same time with the Songkran festival). Girls who work in bars hardly can’t
say no more English than “Where do you come from?” It is their work to try to be
friendly, speak to customers and smile, if you answer them, you show that you
are friendly too, but I assure you, they forget you and your answers after you
walk away from bars. These women come usually from the poorest areas in
Thailand, and behind those smiles can hide a bigger tragedy than a farang can
imagine, some can’t even read or write. I met my wife, Yupa Thaikham (name means
Thai smile), in Pattaya many years ago. We are happy, she can still smile, even
she lives in cold Finland. We visit Thailand, and Pattaya too, yearly, but still
we have seen arrogant, sometimes even violent behavior to Thai girls made by
stupid farang men. Happy Songkran to all Pattaya Mail readers.
Mr. Aarno Lehtinen and Mrs Yupa Thaikham
Dear Aarno and Yupa,
Thank you for your letter, and as you can probably see, I did clean up the
‘Finglish’ a bit, but it was obvious what you meant. You are correct when you
write about the girls in the bars saying, “It is their work to try to be
friendly”, but unfortunately many men visiting these bars confuse the ‘work’
with true love. Fishermen would say these chaps were suiciding on the hook. If
only the men who write in realized the girl is just doing her job, it would make
life so much easier for them. I am so pleased to hear that you and Yupa are
still happy despite living in Finland, and Happy Songkran to you both.
I read in the papers that there has been a crackdown recently about copy goods -
shirts, CDs and watches and the like. Pictures of them being burnt in the street
and all. Why is this? Everyone knows that you go to Asia to buy real bargains. I
always bring back a sack of watches and all the latest movies on DVD and some
footy shirts for the blokes. What’s wrong with this? If I can’t get the stuff in
Thailand any more, do you know where I can get them? I like Thailand, but I have
to look at what I can take back to sell, to pay for the trip.
Dear Copy Charlie,
This is what they call a vexed question, Charlie. How would you feel if you made
some type of special goods and your living came from selling them throughout the
world and then found that cheap copies were being marketed at half the price you
sell them for, and you don’t get anything from that sale? Mind you, I think that
many of these overseas goods are highly over-priced too. The whole question of
copyright is well beyond me, I’m afraid. I’m just worried about getting landed
with ‘copy’ champagne. As to where you can go to get the things you want - the
markets here still have them I believe, but don’t tell the powers that be.
Unless the powers that be are running the market!
How do you work out what size you are in this country? In the UK I am a Medium
(M) but over here the shop girls all say I am XL. I believed them and got three
shirts, all XL, but only two of them fitted, the third was miles too big. When I
went back the little shop in the market, it was not there any longer, so I am
left with this big shirt. What’s your suggestion, Hillary?
Have you never thought about holding the shirts up against you to check the
sizes before you buy? Seems fairly obvious to me, Petal. So the shop’s done a
midnight flit or moved on to the next market, so is this a huge problem? Give
the large one to a large friend, or wait till you grow into it yourself. Most
farang males seem to get bigger as they get older. It’s something to do with the
refreshment they drink. Or perhaps you are boasting about being XL? For you, at
least, size does matter!
Learn to Live to Learn: with Andrew Watson
Experiences that promote intercultural understanding
A few years ago, I featured one of the brave new leaders of the
brave new world of international education, a man named Nick
Hazell. He now heads up the IB Diploma programme at The
International School of Azerbaijan (TISA), a school committed to
the ideals of the International Baccalaureate Organisation and a
place, he tells me, where ethical practice is at the centre of
everything he tries to do. He is determined that students at
TISA have access to experiences that promote intercultural
understanding. Frankly, simply spending time with Nick is an
experience which does just that. Before moving to the barren,
rugged landscape of Baku and beyond, he spent a couple of years
at one of the biggest international schools in Thailand. After a
couple of years in relative physical if not educational
wilderness, he was back and I unexpectedly ran into him on
vacation in a mountain refuge last month.
Over a bottle of Barolo, we talked long into the night, warmed
by an intense fire which reflected our shared passion. “It seems
reasonable to suggest,” started Nick, “that international
schools, with an internationalist mission, an international
curriculum, a culturally diverse student body, an international
staff that promote international education, all located in a
host nation culture that may be quite different for many
students, would be well placed to promote intercultural
Indeed, Thompson (1998) proposes just such a model. An
international school may not have all these characteristics, but
we were considering international schools following an
Nick continued, “Hayden et al’s (2003) comparison of the views
of students following different international curricula show
that they validate the aims of the programmes that they follow
by identifying with them. This observation has been borne out by
conversations that I have had with students in which they have
discussed the importance of aspects of an international
education. There are many others, however, who remain negative
and are sometimes even hostile to the aims of an international
curriculum. The IBO was described to me recently by a student as
‘a socialist institution that is interested in brainwashing
thousands of young people the world over!’”
This resonated quite strongly with some of the research I have
recently undertaken and is supported by Waterson and Hayden
(1999:25) who report that there is little difference in the
attitudes expressed by international school students and those
in UK schools following a national curriculum. Students may have
an awareness of the internationalist aspirations of their
international school’s curriculum, but that is no guarantee that
they will either accept them or indeed that their attitudes and
behaviour will change as a result.
So how do changes occur? How can behaviour change and become
less national, more international, to put it bluntly? Once more,
our shared experiences were backed up by research. Nick
explained, “International school students and teachers
themselves perceive that the interactions between students from
different cultural backgrounds are the largest contributor to
the development of their ‘international attitudes’ - this is
backed up by Hayden and Thompson (1995 and 1998).
“I carried out some preliminary research myself and found that
international students at my school also felt that their
greatest opportunity for learning about intercultural awareness
came from their interactions with each other. However, it seemed
to me that to some extent, the students had developed their own
culture with a shared language, a kind of ‘internationalese’,
and that this acculturation could possibly weaken the
cross-cultural fertilisation that could potentially occur
between different cultural groups.”
My own experience has not been dissimilar. Wealthy host-nation
students can often adopt a mantle of western consumerist values,
quite at odds with the values that the cultural guardians
(religious leaders, statesmen and women, and senior politicians)
try to espouse and defend in the press.
One of the things I have noticed that can get in the way of the
promotion of intercultural understanding is when an organisation
comprises an international student body and a predominantly
national faculty (teachers from one country). Positive
interactions may be more likely to occur between teachers and
students if the faculty comprises many nationalities. “However,”
interjected Hazell, “there is no guarantee that this
international faculty will be committed to international
education or will model intercultural understanding.” This is
He went on, “International schools do sometimes hire expatriate
teachers with no overseas experience who may not have had the
chance to develop cultural sensitivity. This is something that
often comes with experience of the host nation culture as well
as with the experience of being away from home. My experiences
over the last thirteen years living and working in Japan, Sri
Lanka, Thailand and Azerbaijan have taught me that it is
essential to be flexible and patient. Believe me, this is
something that I have had to work at!
“There is also no guarantee that host-nation teachers will
automatically have an international outlook either. It is not
unknown for host-nation colleagues to be resentful of expatriate
staff. Conflict is reinforced by a lack of understanding and
false expectations. Coupled with this there is often a lack of
parity between the salaries of expatriate and locally hired
staff creating a potentially incendiary mixture. Where it
exists, division and intercultural conflict is not lost on the
student body. These issues can be addressed by schools through
careful recruiting, a focus on international mindedness in
orientation programmes and on-going professional development,
and in resolving the ethical issue of addressing any difference
in pay between local staff and foreigners on the staff. They are
doing the same job - they deserve the same pay.”
Typical Hazell, putting reason and decency into the equation. As
so often, a period of restful seclusion with the privilege of
retrospective perspective can render a subject more solidly. I
think the Barolo was helping too.
I looked at my watch; it was a quarter to three in the morning.
Next week: Until dawn
Let’s go to the movies:
by Mark Gernpy
Now playing in Pattaya
Horton Hears a Who!: US Animation/Family – With Jim
Carrey. A whimsical and witty version of Dr. Seuss. An imaginative
elephant named Horton hears a faint cry for help coming from a tiny
speck of dust floating through the air. That speck houses an entire city
named Who-ville, inhabited by the microscopic Whos. Despite being
ridiculed by his neighbors, Horton is determined to save the particle -
because “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Generally favorable
Superhero Movie: US Action/Comedy – A send-up of superhero films
by the people who brought you “Scary Movie.” Generally negative reviews.
The Forbidden Kingdom: US Action/Adventure – An American teenager
obsessed with Hong Kong cinema and kung-fu classics makes an
extraordinary discovery in a Chinatown pawnshop: the legendary
stick weapon of the Chinese sage and warrior, the Monkey King. With the
lost relic in hand, the teenager unexpectedly finds himself traveling
back to ancient China to join a crew of warriors from martial arts lore
on a dangerous quest to free the imprisoned Monkey King. The first
collaboration between martial arts superstars Jet Li and Jackie Chan in
a film that’s fun and worthy of their considerable talents.
Street Kings: US Crime/Thriller – With Keanu Reeves. I found this
a compelling, exciting film about a veteran LAPD detective forced to go
up against the cop culture he’s been a part of his entire career. Keanu
Reeves plays an alcoholic Vice Squad cop whose police methods of
brutality and legal assassinations have long been covertly approved and
elaborately covered up by his boss, a suave and cunning Forest Whitaker.
Rated R in the US for strong violence and pervasive language. Mixed or
My Blueberry Nights: US Drama/Romance – With Jude Law. In his
first English-language film, the Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai has the
same dreamy, romantic melancholy that distinguishes his best work. The
film is strikingly beautiful: The shifting color palette - a black-lit
phosphorescence for New York; reds, and browns for Memphis; a sun-baked
gold for Nevada - is gorgeous to look at, as is the cast. Mixed or
average reviews. At Major Cineplex.
Boogeyman 2: US Horror – A direct-to-video product that
apparently has never before been shown in a cinema. It centers on a
young woman with a long-term phobia of the bogeyman who checks herself
into a mental hospital with the hope of conquering her fears. Basically,
you have a masked man chasing some frightened teenagers through an
isolated hospital, killing them one by one, with emphasis on the bloody,
the cruel, and the disgusting. At Major Cineplex.
Ku Kuan Puan Maesa: Thai Comedy – The usual, with the usual
Vantage Point: US Drama/Thriller – Eight different views of an
assassination attempt, and thus it’s intended in part, I think, as
homage to Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” but, really, it’s quite different. In
“Rashomon,” the varying accounts of a rape and murder are shaped by
self-interest. “Vantage Point” is more literal; it shows what each
person actually sees, not what he wants to see. In each depiction, we
get a little closer to comprehension of the entire affair only to have
the film-makers — in a rather cheap trick — cut away to still another
character’s restricted view of things. Finally, they abandon the
vantage-point experiment entirely, shift to an impersonal view, and
finish the story in a conventional way – in a series of car crashes and
shootouts. With Dennis Quaid and Forest Whitaker. Mixed or average
Sex is Zero 2: Korea Comedy / Romance – a very popular (in Asia)
college sex comedy that manages to be raunchy, funny, and sexy, in the
style of American gross-out college comedies. (Thai-dubbed only; no
English subtitles) At Major Cineplex.
Orahun Summer: Thai Comedy / Drama – Misadventures of boy monks.
Art of the Devil 3: Thai Horror – Torture porn. Last week I
advised you to stay away from this one. I didn’t heed my own warning,
and saw it. It does have some very nice landscapes, rather beautifully
photographed in a moody way. And of course unrelenting torture. In
particular it demonstrates in superbly clear manner, step-by-step, how
to stitch and pin, and indeed staple, a person’s eyelids open so he will
be forced to watch you as you torture to death his entire family. So if
something like this is on your agenda, you might want to check it out.
The most popular film in Thailand last week.
Dream Team: Thai Family/Comedy – Five-year-old boys compete in
Nak: Thai Animation/Family – With English subtitles at Major
Cineplex. In this animated adaptation of Thailand’s famous Mae Nak ghost
legend, Nak is family-friendly, instead of being a scary, vengeful
ghost. In fact, she is a very cute, pink-hued young woman, though still
a ghost. She and her ghost friends have some adventures with children in
modern-day Bangkok. I found it rather pleasant and amusing.
Control your music from taskbar
of us enjoy listening to music while working on the computer. We
would select songs into a playlist and let it play while we
carry on with our work. This week features a small and simple
tip but a sensible technique to help you control music faster
Normally, while you are listening to music, when you need to
skip a song, you would have to switch back to the media player
window and press the ‘Next’ button. Even in a situation when,
say, your phone rings and you need to lower the volume or mute
it completely to answer the call, you would have go back to the
player again. Plus, don’t you think having a maximized window of
a media player opened on your screen is a mere clutter of your
workspace? Let’s make our tech life easier. Put that media
player on your teeny taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
Most Media Players come with an inbuilt feature that allows you
to minimize the player’s controls to fit into the taskbar on
your Windows computer. Isn’t that neat? With this you can play,
pause, stop, go to next or previous song, control the volume or
even mute it. And if you want to watch a video as well, Windows
Media Taskbar puts a little screen on your taskbar for you to
enjoy. As long as it is on your taskbar, you don’t have to
switch back and forth between programs again!
This feature may already be enabled on player, but if you
haven’t seen it, here’s how to activate it on Windows Media
Player and Apple iTunes in three easy steps:
1) Right-click mouse on the taskbar.
2) Click on Toolbars. Then click on Windows Media Player or
3) Whenever you want you put your player on the taskbar, just
minimize the player and it will automatically be embedded into
There you go, easy and neat!
Happy Songkran to one and all!
It’s awfully hot out there, yet the only way to
diminish the heat is to go out this weekend. While some of you
might have already enjoyed the thrilling water festival in
Bangkok and elsewhere, for the people in Pattaya, this weekend
is your turn. Here’s wishing you a Happy Songkran! (Hoping that
you read this before the newspaper in your hand turns completely
All hell breaks loose in this showery festival, so, here’s a
little advice: Do remember to keep all your electronics and
gadgets, especially mobile phones and digital cameras in a
sealed waterproof bag, if you decide to carry them with you. Now
go get drenched!
Answer and Win!
Just for Geeks
In the midst of confusion of whether Yahoo! would
be taken over by Microsoft or not, did you ever wonder what Yahoo!
you have the answer send it in and get a chance to win a Carvery for two
at Jameson’s The Irish Pub. Two Prizes available!
Send your answer to
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