Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A world ruled by robots? This artificial intelligence expert paints a different reality

By Kevin Kwang


18 Jul 2018

"...people worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they are too stupid. And they have already taken over the world. "

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Commentary: The Republic of Singapore Air Force's likely new fighter jet

Mike Yeo

10 July 2018


Russian and Chinese offerings would present significant inter-operability issues with the rest of the SAF’s equipment, which are almost exclusively of western origin, says one observer.

MELBOURNE: Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen’s revelation that Singapore will soon decide which aircraft will replace the Lockheed-Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role jet fighter in the Republic of Singapore Air Force service has re-ignited interest in the programme among the wider defence community.

Speaking to media in the lead-up to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day, Dr Ng had said that the decision will be made in the next few months, with the new fighters needed by the 2030s when the F-16s will start facing obsolescence issues.

He added that some of the criteria that will be used to choose the new jet will be its capability to defend Singapore’s airspace; whether it can work with other SAF air, land and sea platforms; ease of maintenance; as well as the overall cost.

The extreme leadership that got the Thai soccer boys out of the cave alive

By Jena McGregor

July 10 2018

The incredible rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach, the last of whom were brought to safety Tuesday after being trapped deep inside a cave in Northern Thailand for more than two weeks, has stunned the world with extraordinary feats of rescue coordination, cave diving expertise and medical know-how. But it has also required brave, steady leadership from a cast of officials, rescue workers, Thai navy SEAL divers and the boys' own trapped coach — both outside the cave and in interactions with the boys — who have worked tirelessly to turn a dire situation into a triumph of human skill and ingenuity while the whole world looked on.

Thomas Kolditz, a retired brigadier general
who is executive director of Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders and formerly led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy, has a name for the kind of leadership shown in Thailand. He calls it “In Extremis” leadership, the title of his book published in 2007 and the focus of his research on what leaders experienced in life-or-death situations know about keeping people calm and resolving impossible situations. The Washington Post spoke with Kolditz about the role of the boys' coach, the five themes that define “in extremis” leaders, and what people most want to see from the people in charge when their life is on the line. The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity.

When Singapore’s agencies struggle to deal with disruptors that come and go

By Alfred Siew

10 July, 2018

You can also say that the ship has sailed. Or, as a friend remarked, the chicken cannot now be uncooked.

However you say it, the Singapore competition commission’s intervention last week to call the Grab-Uber merger anti-competitive is a reactive and ultimately futile attempt to change the situation.

By threatening to unwind the merger, should its recommended actions be deemed insufficient, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is issuing an ultimatum it cannot enforce.

How can it force Uber to reopen its offices here and launch a service to users again? How can it unravel the new Grab, now more powerful than before with only smaller newcomers to the market to challenge its position?

The American company has left, happy that it got a nice return on investment after a bruising fight with its Southeast Asian rival.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

PUB aims to double water supply by 2060 without using more energy, producing more waste

By Louisa Tang

04 July, 2018


SINGAPORE — National water agency PUB has set a target to double the amount of clean water it produces today by 2060 without using more energy.

That is one of several long-term goals that the PUB committed to on Wednesday (July 4), as it soldiers on with research and development (R&D) efforts to increase water resources for the future and improve water treatment efficiency.

Through new technologies, it aims to reduce the energy used in desalination by more than two-thirds, increase the amount of NEWater recovered from used water to 90 per cent at low energy levels, and produce as much energy as it uses in treating used water.

As trade war looms, America looks more confident than China

By Cary Huang

When the Fed moved to tighten the monetary supply with its rate hike of 25 basis points on June 14, the People’s Bank of China went in the opposite direction and loosened the taps.

03 July, 2018

It has long been said that when the Fed sneezes, emerging markets catch a cold.

And China, as the world’s largest developing economy and exporter, is no exception – its fate is closely linked to the United States market.

That is why China’s central bank usually mirrors the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, tightening when it tightens, loosening when it loosens.

For example, in March and December of 2017 and March this year, it followed rate hikes by the Fed with increases in its reverse repurchases rate – one of Beijing’s most commonly used tools to control liquidity in the financial system.

But Beijing now appears ready to defy convention.

When the Fed moved to tighten the monetary supply with its rate hike of 25 basis points on June 14, the People’s Bank of China went in the opposite direction and loosened the taps.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Older residents to pay more to join CareShield Life; Govt offers incentives to offset higher cost

By Louisa Tang


The new CareShield Life scheme, which replaces the existing ElderShield from 2020, will dole out higher monthly payouts — S$600 instead of up to S$400 — which are payable for life, up from the current cap of six years.

03 July, 2018

SINGAPORE — The majority of older residents who want to be covered under CareShield Life will have to pay a “catch-up component” for a decade, and a base premium which increases over time until they reach 67, it was announced on Tuesday (July 3).