Choo Choo Train @ Kallang Wave Mall 2021

We took the kids (@doubleetoh) to Kallang Wave Mall for lunch and to get some groceries as we’re going to have a small steamboat lunch for Mother’s Day the next day. After lunch, we brought the kids to get their Zoomoov fix. We also gave in to their request for the Choo Choo Train ride as well. We used to pay $6 per kid but they seem to have switched their ticketing mechanics. A $6 ticket allows for 2 pax be it a child + parent or child + child. Since Emma and Ethan can already ride on their own, we spent $12 and that gave them 2 rounds of train ride together! They are also running a promotion now where each $6 ride ticket comes with a free gift! When do you receive the gift? During the ride, there will be a “pit stop” at Paco FunWorld where a man will come out with a box for the child to select his/her gift! Super cool and such a great deal!

SH.SG – Singapore based full featured URL Shortener

SH.SG - Full Featured URL Shortener made in Singapore

When one thinks of URL shortener, BITLY comes to mind. While BITLY has been a reliable, mostly free service, there are limitations.

But wait. Why do you need a URL shortener?

  • Long URLs doesn’t look good.

This is a no brainer. Would you like a link like http://sg.iherb.com/now-foods-essential-oils-lemon-eucalyptus-1-fl-oz-30-ml/3329?rcode=rfc074 OR https://sh.sg/iherb ?

  • Stop referencing “link in bio” on Instagram

Many instagrammers make reference to “link in bio” because they can’t post a link on the post level. However, this means that the latest post will always hog the link in the bio, rendering referencing in previous posts useless. With a shortened URL, simply put the link in the post. Viewers don’t mind typing out the link in the browser if it is short enough.

  • You want to hide the destination URL

Not that you have malicious intent but maybe you just want to keep the destination link a mystery until it gets clicked.

  • You want to redirect users based on their country

There are times when you want to send visitors from different countries to a different link. For example, a Singapore visitor may be directed to your Singapore site and the rest will be sent to the international site. This can be done by some link shortener services.

  • You want to redirect users based on their device type

Want to link to your mobile app but there’s only space for one link? Redirect users to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store based on their device type. i.e. iPhone users get automatically redirected to your app on the Apple App Store. Amazing? Try this demo link: https://sh.sg/msa

  • You need a placeholder link for your email/website campaigns and have the freedom to redirect it to the final link when it is ready.

Your developer or web designer needs the actual URL for an upcoming campaign but you don’t have it ready. Give them the shortened URL with a dummy destination link and then update the destination link later! But beware, some shortener services doesn’t not allow you to amend the link unless you’re on a paid plan!

  • You want to set an expiry date for a link

Set an expiry date for your shortened link so that it no longer redirects when your campaign ends. Lots of use cases for this!

  • You want to add a simple password protection to the link

I wouldn’t recommend this to be the only protection for your destination link but it is useful to have this feature to avoid having people snooping on your shortened link to your home VPN / private links.

Need a recommendation? Introducing SH.SG, a Singapore based, full featured URL Shortener.

There is a free tier with limited features but the paid plans are really cheap too, starting from as low as S$1.33 / month!

Features:

Shortest domain name 🆓

With only 2 letters (excluding TLD), SH.SG is one of the shortest domain names you can get in Singapore.

.SG TLD 🆓

A Singapore based TLD provides more relevance when you are redirecting to a Singapore website.

Custom Aliases 💰

Instead of https://sh.sg/AeXd4, our paying users get to choose their own custom alias e.g. https://sh.sg/iherb

Link Expiration 🆓

You can set an expiration date to stop redirecting users. This is useful for time-sensitive pages such as promotions and other limited offers.

Password Protection 🆓

Want to allow redirection only for authorised user? Want an extra layer of security? Password protection feature is available for everyone!

Geotargeting 💰

This option allows you

Device Targeting 💰

Set conditions so that, for example, iPhone users get redirected to a specific link and Android users, another. You can use this to send iOS users to an Apple App Store link to your app and for Android users, to your Google Play Store app.

Targeting Pixels 💰

Allows you to use Facebook Pixels

Parameter Builder 💰

You can add custom parameters to the link above using this tool. Choose the parameter name and then assign a value. These will be added during redirection.

Try it now >> SH.SG – Singapore URL Shortener

Cloning a Banapassport Card

I recently spoke to a client who wanted me to try to help him clone his “Arcade Card”. I immediately rejected him as I wasn’t into illegal stuff like cloning stored value cards. Besides, I was highly doubtful that modern stored value cards are that easily duplicated. He went on to explain that the card has no stored value and was simply sort of an identification card for the Wangan Midnight series of racing games in the arcade. The card authenticates the user to his/her Banapassport account which stores the cars acquired through the game. 

After speaking to a few players, I found out that the common reasons why they would want to clone their original cards are:

  • Convenience. The Banapassport card can now exist also in the form of a key tag or even sticker. Hanging the key tags with your other keys seems like a great idea. 
  • Backup. While players with Banapassport cards that are properly linked to their email address can recover the data in the event of the loss of the original card, there is a cost involved as a new original card needs to be obtained. Also, if the player’s Banapassport card is not linked to an irrecoverable account, there is no way to recover the data. Having a physical clone will solve the problem. 
  • Security. Leaving the original card at home and only going to the arcade with the generic looking cloned tag makes it unlikely that anyone knows what the tag is for if it gets lost. 
  • Sharing. While one cannot log in to two machines simultaneously, two or more players who are not staying close to each other can each hold on to a card/tag to play at different times. 

After doing some research, I managed to crack the keys and successfully clone a Banapassport card into a generic RFID key tag:

 

Interested? Head over to Carousell : Banapassport Card Cloning