Don’t panic, your files on Google Drive are safe (only the desktop app retires)

Google really scared us when it announced it was retiring the Google Drive desktop app. Many did not see the original announcement but the many headlines by tech sites which more dramatically suggested that “Google Drive dies!”

Even I blinked when I encountered that with sleepy eyes, so I shared the tweet, asked the question in my mac meetup LINE chat and left for class. When I checked my Facebook thread for responses later, a few friends were upset – was this yet another service which had collapsed?

As it turns out, most friends are not sync-ing files to desktop but only using Google Drive on the cloud. Really then, all of us could have simply ignored this announcement, which Gizmodo explains was really meant to “move enterprise users over to the new Drive File Stream app”.

To summarise:

  • Google Drive on desktop (for those who used this) – retires by March 2018; can be replaced by “Backup and Sync
  • Google Drive mobile (iOS and Android) – unaffected
  • Google Drive (on cloud – unaffected

I wonder how Google Backup and Sync will affect the Singapore-based company Insynchq, which has provided a Google Drive client for file backup all these years.

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OCBCcares Fund for the Environment – how to submit an competent proposal? Training workshop on Thu 24 Aug 2017: 4.00pm – 7.00pm

OCBCcares Fund for the Environment is inviting project proposals for their grant call with a deadline in November 2017. This is a competitive grant so proposals need to be clearly and effectively crafted. To prepare applicants, a training workshop is offered on Thu 24 Aug 2017: 4pm – 7pm.

More details at http://www.ocbc.com/group/who-we-are/sustainability-environment.html

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Dr Jane Goodall visits Singapore – JGIS hosts a public talk and dinner (6th August 2017)

Dr Jane Goodall is visiting Singapore, 6th – 8th Aug 2017 and theme for her visit is “Living in Harmony with Nature & Wildlife”.
The following public events are hosted by the Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore.

  1. Public talk, “One Nature, Together: Conversations with Dr. Jane Goodall” [http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cnature0817]
  2. Dinner, “Living in Harmony: A Night of Inspiration with Dr. Jane Goodall” [http://janeinsg.peatix.com]
  3. Root & Shoots Conference (closed already), “Youth Environmental Stewardship for a Sustainable Future”
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26–27 Jul 2017 @ NUS LT31 – Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in Southeast Asia Symposium: open to public and free

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Introduction of invasive alien species (IAS) resulting from anthropogenic removal or bypassing of natural dispersal barriers is a global issue with far-reaching environmental, economic, and human health impacts. In aquatic environments, the frequency and extent of IAS introduction and establishment can often be exacerbated by the intensification of socio-economic activities, particularly introduction pathways that are associated with international trade.

The Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in Southeast Asia (AIASSEA) 2017 symposium brings together leading international and regional researchers with the overall goal of disseminating and sharing current knowledge, ongoing research, and expertise on aquatic invasive alien species in Southeast Asia.

This symposium is open to public, and is free. Read more and register here.

Just launched – #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment (deadline 30 Nov 2017)

Individuals and groups passionate about environmental sustainability with plan of action can be funded by a new fund, the #OCBCCares for the Environment Fund. Besides funding, training will be provided by OCBC Bank staff volunteers in key related skills of project management, financial planning, budgeting know-how and presentation skills – to help you prepare robust proposals and structure projects.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for initiatives that

  • are realistic and scalable
  • provide direct and tangible benefits to Singapore
  • deliver visible outcomes that have a sustainable impact on our environment
  • benefit a broad segment of the community

Targetted project outcomes include:

  • The adoption of environmentally responsible behaviour or habits among residents in Singapore
  • Successful efforts to conserve, recycle or minimise waste of environmental resources including water, energy, natural habitats and food
  • Biodiversity conservation initiatives, including habitat enhancement, habitat restoration and species recovery
  • Resolution of pressing local environmental sustainability issues
  • A stronger call, from ground-up, for the community to make lifestyle changes and adopt more environmentally responsible habits.

A team of us are evaluating proposals:

  • Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank
  • Sueanne Mocktar, National Environment Agency (NEA)
  • Lena Chan, National Parks Board (NParks),
  • Tan Nguan Sen & Linda de Mello (PUB)
  • N Sivasothi (NUS: DBS & RVRC)

Prospective applicants, do take note to apply by 30 Nov 2017 and take note of the training workshop for a robust proposal on Thu 24 Aug 2017: 4.00 – 7.00 pm @ OCBC Bank. Please read the details carefully here, and all the best!

Yes, no more excuses; this fund manpower too!

Want to take action for nature and the environment? Join the Biodiversity Youth Forum, Sat 12 Aug 2017 (120 places)

The Biodiversity Youth Forum (BYF) @ SBG, Sat 12 Aug 2017

Who is this for? All aspiring young conservationists aged 16 – 30 are welcome!
No level of experience required, sign up here.
Special Guest: Second Minister for National Development Mr Desmond Lee will join us!

Are you interested in nature conservation but don’t know where to start? Are you already active but want to contribute further, to policies and decision making in biodiversity conservation? Are you wondering if your actions can contribute to the local conservation scene and even the aspirations of the United Nations?

Join the youth facilitators and mentors at the Biodiversity Youth Forum (BYF) on 12th August 2017. In line with Singapore’s Nature Conservation Masterplan (NCMP), and in fulfilment of our commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Biodiversity Roundtable* is launching this youth forum to empower youth leaders in biodiversity issues in Singapore.

At Biodiversity Youth Forum (BYF), you will

  • meet and connect with like-minded individuals and groups
  • learn about the Convention on Biological Diversity, Singapore’s Nature Conservation Master Plan and how you can/already play a role in them
  • find out how you can get your voices heard and contribute more effectively to conservation
  • identify and seek mentorship and training

Event details:

*The Biodiversity Roundtable is an initiative spearheaded by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and National Parks Board (NParks) under Singapore’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. The Roundtable comprises about 32 representatives from various sectors of the biodiversity community in Singapore.

JoinBiodiversityYouthForum12Aug2017

Amanda’s repaying a blood debt – donation number 11!

Amanda was my red jungle fowl and small mammal research student during her third and honours years with me at the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS. That experience transformed her overnight from ‘sua-ku’ urbanite to hardy field worker. The role of her supervisor was an intense one and she and other students joke that the process made me lose lots of blood!

So as payback, we visited the blood centre on a post-thesis expedition to get her started. Amanda was more than ready and has become a regular donor. Recent hectic periods in her career has meant getting to a donation centre has been a struggle, so today she was glad to inform me she was making her 11th donation at the mobile blood donation drive at her school.

Red Cross Singapore says only 1.87% of Singapore residents are blood donors. If you are hale and healthy, visit the Red Cross blood donation page to learn more and book an appointment. You will be able to waltz in, spend no more than an hour, and leave satisfied about having made a meaningful contribution.

Amanda’s 9th blood donation @ Westgate, 25 Jul 2016
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Amanda’s 10th blood donation @ Westgate, 11 Nov 2016
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Amanda’s 11th blood donation @ ACJC, 07 Jul 2017
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Post-Ramadhan blood stock, 6th Jul 2017Screenshot 564