Sunday 22 September 2013

Closed, cancelled & Jemmed: New iPhone still can’t play CDs

It has been 15 years since the popular US TV sitcom Seinfeld ended. But last week, I was reminded of a favorite episode from the series.

In the episode, the character Jerry is trying to figure out the name of a woman he was dating. All he knew was that her name rhymed with a part of the female anatomy. One of his (incorrect) guesses was that her name was Mulva.

On Friday, the new iPhone was launched. First in line at The Paragon’s M1 store was a 23-year-old poly student who had been queueing since the day before. He was also first in line for the iPhone launch last year, in 2011 and 2010. I suppose you can call him a serial queuer.

His name? Mr Melva Yip.

Congratulations to him for getting the gold iPhone 5s, which was reportedly the fastest to be sold out. The other colours are silver and black – sorry, I mean “space grey”.

I notice that the gold part is only at the back and the sides of the phone. The front is white. So if I put my old white iPhone 5 in a case that covers its back and sides, I can pretend I have a gold iPhone 5s.

Mr Yip is lucky that he wasn’t queueing at Jem, where the ceiling could’ve fallen on him.

Jem announced on Thursday that it was “closed until further notice” after the false ceiling collapsed, hurting three people.

Living in the western part of Singapore, I am saddened by the Jurong East mall’s closure.

But I promise to remain faithful. I will not go to the Uniqlo outlet at Causeway Point to get the $9.90 three-quarter sleeve Mickey Mouse T-shirt that’s on sale.

I will wait for Jem for re-open whenever that may be. (As long as it’s before 9.30 tonight because today is the last day of the sale.)

Besides having such fashionable tenants like Uniqlo, H & M and Old Chang Kee, Jem is also a trendsetter in other ways. Remember in June, how Jem cancelled its big opening just one day before due to lack of fire permits?

Cancelling something at the last minute is now the hip thing to do. Even the 1 World Music Festival jumped on the bandwagon last week.

Featuring such cool artists like Moby and Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion or Snoop Octopus, who knows anymore?), the festival was scheduled to take place at the Marina Barrage on Friday and yesterday but was cancelled just two days before opening due to poor ticket sales.

Let me tell you Jem was cancelling openings three months ago before it was cool.

Understandably, the 1 World cancellation wasn’t so cool to the people who had bought tickets, especially those overseas who were flying it for the event. I hope Ms Aung San Suu Kyi isn’t too disappointed.

What are these people going to do in Singapore now? If only there’s some other major event happening in Singapore this weekend.

Hmmm… can you think of anything?

Say again? I can’t hear you over the Formula One cars roaring past.

No, wait, that’s just someone playing Grand Theft Auto V too loudly. I’m not sure if he’s over 18.

No, wait, it's not a “he”. It’s Ms Aung San Suu Kyi!

And if the 1 World cancellation wasn’t enough bad news for music fans here, on the same day, local music store Gramophone announced that it “decided to close its business due to the difficult trading conditions and other challenges faced by the industry for some years now”.

What challenges? Well, for one thing, I now listen to music mostly on my pretend gold iPhone and even after I’ve updated to the new iOS 7, there’s still no slot on my iPhone to insert a compact disc.

Yet, I bought a CD from Gramophone as recently as three months ago when I could’ve downloaded the album from iTunes more cheaply. The album was It Just Comes Natural by country music superstar George Strait.

I was so disturbed by my behaviour that I asked a Facebook friend who is the editor of NPR Music in the US: “Am I a schmuck for still buying CDs?”

He answered: “I prefer CDs to MP3s as a general rule, if only because you’re getting uncompressed sound files – and, more to the point, the ability to pop a disc into your computer and magically produce MP3s where there were no MP3s before.

“My attachment to CDs has waned a bit as I’ve come to listen to them less (and as the literally tens of thousands of discs in my basement threaten to drag my house into the center of the earth), but they still represent the most versatile format in my mind...

“So, no, you’re not a schmuck for buying CDs.”

Next, I’m asking my friend whether I’m a schmuck if I am the first in line for the next four iPhone launches.

No, wait, “schmuck” is Yiddish for “penis”, which is a part of the male anatomy.

So what I should be asking instead is: “Am I a Melva if I am the first in line for the next four iPhone launches?”

I think the answer is yes.

By the way, the name of the woman Jerry was dating in the Seinfeld episode was Dolores.

- Published in The New Paper, 25 September 2013

From reader mike

Mulva so lame.

Is Virginia too obvious that he/you could not use it????