Author Archives: S Shiva

The rise of underground retailers

It is not cheap having a hobby of any sort, regardless of how cheap it may seem at first. For example, collecting stamps may seem like a painless activity for your wallet, but serious collectors spend hundreds of dollars on proper stamp books and preservation kits to make sure their collection lasts as long as possible.

As far as hobbies go, being a gamer is probably not one of the cheapest around. With the average video game carrying a price tag of between S$59 to S$120, gaming can really take a toll on one’s finances.

For this reason, large companies that sell video games, like Best Denki, Challenger, and Comics Connection, just to name a few, have been seeing a massive dip in sales.

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Trouble brewing in cyber gaming cafés?

LAN (local area network) shops are a common sight in Singapore, and a frequent hangout for many of the nation’s youths. These stores, usually small, dimly lit and noisy, can be found anywhere from a void deck in the heartlands to even the tourist dominated streets of Orchard Road.

While LAN shops have undoubtedly seen numerous arguments break out within them, and in extreme cases a pushing incident or two, there has been nothing threatening enough to the safety of its patrons to catch the eye of the media.

However, in Sep 2011, safety at LAN shops was in fact the hot topic on everyone’s tongues after the body of a 13-year-old was found at a back alley in Geylang. The teen, a Chinese national who studied at St. Patrick’s School, had been allegedly beaten to death by two older boys after a dispute broke out between both parties at the nearby 24-hour LAN shop.

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The beginnings of the legend

“If something works, don’t fix it” goes the age-old saying. The legendary Watchmen series of comic books, written by the revered Alan Moore in 1986, is considered by many to be a masterpiece.

A skillfully written, genuinely intriguing plot, deep and relatable characters, and an art style that blended traditional comic panels with hidden motifs were more than enough to blows the minds of readers everywhere.

Earlier today, some 26 years after the Watchmen books made waves in the comic world, DC comics has announced that they will be releasing a set of comics that will serve as prequels to the main series. These seven comics, each focusing on one of the main characters in the series, delve deeper into the minds of each individual, explaining how and why they ended up the way they were when readers first saw them in Watchmen.

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Modernisation – but at what cost?

Mutter the words “Tiong Bahru” to anyone a year or two ago, and their minds would link the quiet little neighbourhood to things synonymous with it – the unassuming pre-wartime flats, the scrumptious offerings of the age-old Tiong Bahru market, or its ageing but close-knit community.

Speak of the neighbourhood now, however, and chances are that the reply you get will have something to do with a newly opened café.

It started a little over a year ago, and ever since, small, cosy and chic eateries, cafes and merchandise stores have been sprouting all over Tiong Bahru. With only four or five running early this year, the number has more than tripled to a grand total of 20 as of now.

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Perfect control – anytime, anywhere

Everyone prefers a control set-up unique to the individual when it comes to gaming on the PC. How many times have you had to go through the chore of getting your gear set up the way you like when at a LAN party?

Enter Razer Synapse 2.0, the one-stop solution to all that hassle.

With this ingenious application, your favoured peripheral settings will be held in cloud storage, ready to be pulled down and applied onto any PC – be it at home, in the LAN shop, or even in school.

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Power of a console in your pocket

The hype surrounding it has been frenzied for months, and it is finally here – well, the Japanese version at least. Say hello to the Playstation Vita (PS Vita), the newest handheld gaming system in the market, and the spiritual successor to Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP).

To the untrained eye, this sleek new device looks almost identical to its predecessor, but trifle with it for a while, and it soon becomes apparent that this is a completely different machine altogether.

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