Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Twitter teething problems?

Recently, I've recently placed my mouse over the highlighted text and I immediately tweeted the same thing!

Is this some form of exploit or Twitter bug?

There are some new changes to Twitter coming. Could this be due to the new additions?

Well, my suggestion is not to put your mouse cursor on top of the highlighted area as you will just RT it and propagate the bug.

-- Robin Low

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rosarito Beach Mariachi Festival - Oct 2010

Rosarito Beach October Mariachi Festival
To Feature Grammy-Winning Super Group

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO – An October mariachi spectacular will feature the first Mexican concert by the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas as well as competition between music and dance groups from Mexico and the U.S.
In addition to the chance to hear great mariachi music, the thousands expected to attend from both Mexican and the U.S. will know that their ticket purchases will go toward helping build Rosarito’s first Boys & Girls Club.

The Oct. 2 and 3 beachfront spectacular on the grounds of the Rosarito Beach Hotel will feature both mariachi and folkloric ballet competitions starting at 10 each day with groups from junior high through college age from both countries.
U.S. competitors include groups from Chula Vista, Anaheim and Tucson.

From 6 to 9 on Saturday, the Los Angeles-Based Mariachi Divas will headline a three-hour concert. In 2009 the 20-member group was awarded the Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Music for its album “Canciones de Amor.”

“We have many fans in Mexico and are looking forward to seeing them at our first public concert there, as well as many of our friends from the U.S.,” said Diva leader Cindy Shea.

Maya, Timoteo – El Charro Negro, Olga Flores, Folklorico Ixtlazihuatl, Genesis, and Beto Jimenez Maeda will also be performing. The event also will feature wine, food and VIP areas.

“This truly will be a spectacular event,” said organizer Gil Sperry, author of several books including “Mariachi for Gringos.”

Tickets for various portions of the event begin at $7.50 for children and $10 for adults, with complete packages priced at $25 and $45. Details are available at www.clubdeninosyninansderosarito.com, www.rosarito.org and clubrosarito@hotmail.com
Tickets also can be purchased in advance at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, the Rosarito Convention & Visitors Bureau or, if still available, at the event itself.

Proceeds from the Mariachi festival will go toward the $1.3 million needed for the construction and operation of the Rosarito Boys and Girls Club. Ground already has been broken and about $200,000 raised.

Members of Rosarito’s large expatriate community will be helping as event volunteers and the Rosarito Beach Hotel is offering special lodging packages.
“We are so grateful to Gil Sperry, the Mariachi Divas and all the participants for their help,” said club president Rosy Torres. “As well as helping children, we know that those who attend to will have the chance to enjoy one of the best shows ever in Rosarito.”

The mariachi festival has been named an official event of Mexico’s bicentennial. The state department of tourism and city are among sponsors.

“We are proud to have this prestigious event in our city and look forward to it becoming an annual showcase,” said Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres.

(Writers & Assignment Editors: The Divas are available for advance interviews as well as San Diego appearances on Oct. 29)



This event sound amazing, fun, and not to be missed.

See you there at Rosarito Beach!

-- Robin Low

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Importing Goods into Singapore

I have been importing and exporting products, and the cost of shipping seems to be on the rise since I started shipping in 2005.

The Singapore post office costs are getting more and more unreasonable, and for shipping goods outside Singapore, SAL (Surface Airlifted) is no longer an option, and parcel posts are also sometimes not available.

Recently, as the cost of shipping and freight for import was a little unacceptable, I decided to try to import the products myself. This is what I have learned.


1) FOB
FOB is an initialism which pertains to the shipping of goods. Depending on specific usage, it may stand for Free On Board or Freight On Board, with similar but distinct implications. FOB specifies which party (buyer or seller) pays for which shipment and loading costs, and/or where responsibility for the goods is transferred. The last distinction is important for determining liability for goods lost or damaged in transit from the seller to the buyer.

Free on board means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. Buyer is responsible for all the costs incurred after the cargo has been LOADED on board.

FOB is one of the most common way of shipping for most manufacturers. What is usually means to me is that the manufacturer will absorb all the loading cost of the cargo, and usually it also means that the manufacturer will pay all the cost of the shipment, including documentation fees and shipment to the port for export.

I recently have a shipment of 100 sandals made by amputees, which I shipped from Jakarta to Singapore. The cost for collecting the goods, bringing it to the port and loading it on the ship is the FOB cost.


Export Charges - There are often handling fees, documentation fees, duties and other loading fees incurred.


2) B/L - Bill of Lading

A bill of lading (sometimes referred to as a BOL,or B/L) is a document issued by a carrier to a shipper, acknowledging that specified goods have been received on board as cargo for conveyance to a named place for delivery to the consignee who is usually identified. A thorough bill of lading involves the use of at least two different modes of transport from road, rail, air, and sea. The term derives from the verb "to lade" which means to load a cargo onto a ship or other form of transportation.


Importing Goods from Overseas in Singapore.

In general, non-controlled goods may be imported into Singapore without the need for licences.

What Permits Do I Need?

* For each shipment of goods, you must apply for an Import Permit through TradeNet®, your freight forwarder or cargo agent.

* If you are importing controlled goods, your Import Permit must be routed to the Competent Authorities (CAs) for approval. CAs are Government agencies that regulate controlled goods.

* Under certain circumstances, you do not need to apply for an Import Permit, e.g. importing trade samples that are worth less than S$400. A full list of these exemption scenarios are available on TradeNet® - Import/Export Procedures.


What do I need to do first?

1) Get your UEN by activation of your Customs Account. -> Link <- You need a Singpass for this, but otherwise, it is free. --------------------------------------------------------------- After you products are shipped from overseas, you will get the B/L. With your invoice and your B/L, you can apply for your permit. 2) Apply for the Permit (And pay custom taxes -- usually GST) With the information, you can a) Get a Tradenet Account and apply for the permit online.

b) Get help from a TradeNet Service Provider. (If you do not import as often.)


LCL - (Less-Than-Container Load)

Less than container load (LCL) is a shipment that is not large enough to fill a standard cargo container. The abbreviation LCL formerly applied to "Less than (railway) Car Load" for quantities of material from different shippers or for delivery to different destinations which might be carried in a single railway car for efficiency. LCL freight was often sorted and redistributed into different railway cars at intermediate railway terminals enroute to final destination.


When your goods arrive, it will be at customs of your shipping company. There will be import charges incurred. These import charges would include Port fees, LCL unload charges, Documentation Fees uncrating fees and many other charges.

Freight Invoice Sample

When your shipment comes, you can claim your shipment yourself from the customs, and you will need.

1) B/L
2) Invoice
3) Permit (See above)
4) Letter of authorization with company letter head to claim on behalf of your company, to enter the "Free trade zone" (restricted area) to collect the goods. -- This letter varies so check with the customs pass issue office on what is required.
5) Identity card. (Apparently Passport or driving license with photo is not enough)
6) D/O (Delivery order) If you pay the charges of unloading and port charges to your shipping company (The company warehousing the goods) they will give you your D/O

With all the items above, you are ready to go to the warehouse to collect the goods and then upon exiting, you need to give the proper documentation (show that tax and duties paid) and you can leave the customs area with your goods.

This process is not so simple, however it can save you a hefty amount of money.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Changeable Sandals

The Changeable Sandals --
Sandals with Interchangeable Straps is an interesting concept. Being able to pick the right straps with the right colored soles is very interesting, however I realized that being able to customize your sandals to preferences is just the beginning of what to come.

The idea feels a little ahead of its time, and I feel that the design of these sandals feels very simple and basic, but the thing that impressed me most is that this sandals project is a social enterprise.

Amputees are hired to make these sandals, and the cost of these sandals still feels very reasonable at $25 for a pair of sandals and 2 different types of straps.

The sandals do feel comfortable, and there is also a feeling that you have help someone disadvantaged. Very satisfying indeed.

-- Robin Low