Archive for March, 2011

Google is a free MobileMe alternative

Friday, March 4th, 2011

If you have more than one mobile devices, it can be quite troublesome having to sync it back to your mac, and then resync each device to make sure that all your calendar, email data syncs across the board.

Forget MobileMe. Google makes it easy. Plus its FREE.

Step 1: Exporting iCal and importing into Google

First you have to export your iCal calendars and then import them into your Google Calendars. (Remember where you save them!)

Open iCal on your Mac computer, and then go to:
– File>Export>Export
If you have more than one calendars, export them separately.

Next, logon to Google Calendar with your Gmail account.

Under ‘My calendars’, click Add and create new calendars with names similar to the calendars you exported.

Right at the bottom under ‘Other calendars’, click:
– Add>Import Calendar
– Select the Calendar (where you saved it), and click on the relevant Google Calendar below.
– Repeat for each of your other calendars.

Now go to and select all the calendars you would like to see your your iPhone or iPad.

Step 2: Setting up iCal to sync with Google

Open iCal on your Mac computer, and then go to:
– iCal>Preference>Accounts
– Click the ‘+’ under Accounts
– Leave Account type as ‘Automatic’. Fill in your Gmail address and password
– Click Create

You should see a new account under accounts (with CalDAV) below.

If you had imported more than one calendars into google calendars earlier,
– Click Delegation
– Select all the calendars you have created

Viola, you’re done with iCal.

Step 3: Setting up Mail to sync with Google

Open Mail on your Mac computer, and then go to:
– Mail>Preference>Accounts
– Click the ‘+’ under Accounts
– Sign in with your gmail

It should auto create an IMAP email account for you. To double check this,
– Click on the email account under ‘Accounts’
– Check that Incoming Mail Server is ‘’

That’s it.

Step 4: Setting up Calendar and Email to sync with Google

On your iPhone or iPad, simply go to:
– Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars
– Add Account
– Select Gmail
– Fill in your Name, Email Address & Password
– Slide to ON for Mail and Calendars

Open the ‘Calendar’ app.
– Press Calendars
– Check your Google Calendars
– Press Done

Your calendar is now in the cloud! If you see duplicates, it’s probably because your phone is still reflecting your old calendars on iCal. It’s a simple fix. Simply connect your phone to iTunes, then under iPhone (or iPad)>Info>Sync iCal Calendars, just uncheck the box.

So now whatever calendar entries you add or delete on any of your devices or computer, will automatically be updated across the board.

Likewise, if you read your email on your Mac, it will reflect as read on your other devices, and vice versa. Oh the power of IMAP.

Now how cool is that?

(p/s This post is a result of me having to go through several other webpages with outdated instructions and trying to figure out how to get my data to sync with my Google. Thus, I’ve consolidated these instructions, which are valid as of 4 March 2011.)

Devices used:
– 13″ Macbook Pro running Mac OS X 10.6.6
– iPhone 4 running 4.2.1
– iPad running 4.2.1

Ensuring Property Market’s Stable Growth for All

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Mah Bow Tan defending property issues in Parliament.

Minister for National Development assures young couples, Govt will help them set up their first home
by Mah Bow Tan

Everybody knows the property market was very hot last year. This was due to various factors: Low interest rates, excess liquidity, and jobs growth attracted many buyers into the market. Some were upgraders and investors. Others were speculators out to make a quick buck.

High property prices have made some Singaporeans happy. But others worry that they have missed the boat, worry that prices will go up even further. It is hard for both groups to be happy at the same time. Property prices and economic growth go hand-in-hand. Property prices cannot be expected to stagnate while the economy is powering ahead as it has done.

What the Government can, and will try its best to do, is to stabilise the market and moderate price increases amidst extraordinary economic growth.

We acted early to pre-empt a bubble from forming. I remember sounding the alarm in mid-2009, when I saw property prices start moving up. We introduced the first set of cooling measures in September 2009. Since then, three more sets of cooling measures were introduced, in February and August last year and, just recently, in January.

At the same time, we ramped up the supply of private housing through the Government Land Sales programme to meet demand. As at Q4 2010, the latest figures that I have, 33,000 units of private property remained unsold. This is equal to three years of supply based on the average annual take-up over the last five years. I have mentioned this figure many times, URA has included this figure many times; in fact, they do so in every one of their press releases. But, I guess, if the market is hot, such inconvenient truths are conveniently ignored. Yes, we will be supplying even more under our land sales programme. So there is absolutely no need to rush into the market.

The efforts we have made so far have prevented prices from spiralling out of control. The rate of price increase has reduced quarter-on-quarter and continued to fall since the first set of measures were introduced in September 2009. Subsales have been kept in check. Subsales is usually used as a proxy for speculation; in Q4 2010, subsales were 7 per cent of all transactions, compared to 13 per cent in Q2 2009, when we started to introduce cooling measures when the market picked up strongly.