2018 World Cup predictions: Are you smarter than Google?

Infographic: The Semi-Final Winners (According to Google) | StatistaThe infographic above that was prepared by StatistaCharts shows Google’s predictions of which teams would likely emerge as the winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final matches.

According to data compiled by Google on July 9 (Monday), the probability of FRANCE emerging as the winner of the 2am (Brunei time, July 11) match against Belgium is 38%.

Belgium, on the other hand, has a 32% chance of winning this match, while the chance of a draw is 30%.

As for the 2am (Brunei time, July 12) match between Croatia and England, there is a strong probability (41%) that ENGLAND will emerge as the better team, while the likelihood of Croatia winning the match stands at only 29%. The probability of a draw for this match, meanwhile, is 30%.

If Google is right, you will be seeing France going up against England for the 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy at 11pm this Sunday (Brunei time, July 15).

But this is what Google thinks will happen. We here at ‘Neue’ want to hear from YOU – take part in the poll below and see if you are really smarter than Google!

Semi-final (2am Brunei time, July 11) FRANCE vs BELGIUM - who do YOU think will win?


Semi-final (2am Brunei time, July 12) CROATIA vs ENGLAND - who do YOU think will win?


FINALS (11pm Brunei time, July 15) Who do YOU think will win?

Survival guide to Brunei’s 21st Consumer Fair

*The following report is a special collaboration between ‘Neue’ and Ranoadidas 

Brunei’s biggest trade fair, the 21st Consumer Fair, was officially launched on June 27 (Wednesday) at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas. The five-day fair ended on July 1.

What to check out – It’s Claw-ful!

Aside from the hundreds of booths to check out, the Consumer Fair is also well known for its featured attractions.

One of the must-try activities is the Human Claw Machine, which is said to be the first-of-its-kind in Brunei.

On Tuesday (June 26) – a day before the official launching of the Consumer Fair – the ‘Neue’ team and Rano were among the first in the country to check out the Human Claw Machine.

You have nothing to fear as the Human Claw Machine can support the weight of Brunei’s famous social media blogger, Ranoadidas

We expect the Human Claw Machine to be a popular attraction among visitors, especially children and the young-at-heart. 

How it works? All you have to do is pay a $5 fee for an attempt to grab as many prizes as possible during your turn. You will be hoisted up by a hook attached to a safety harness.

If you are accompanied by a friend or relative, you can ask them to handle the CONTROLLER of the Human Claw Machine (see photo below) while you are hoisted up in the air.

A staff of D’Sunlit demonstrating how to operate the Human Claw Machine

However, if you are alone, do not worry, as one of the friendly staff members of D’Sunlit will be there to assist you.

We do not want to spoil the surprise for you, but a little bird told us that there could be a flashy prize (a mobile phone, perhaps?).

Share your ‘Claw-fie’ & win a mystery prize

Be sure to ask someone to snap a photo of you dangling on the Human Claw Machine as you could be the lucky winner of a mystery prize courtesy of ‘Neue’ and Ranoadidas! All  you have to do is upload a photo with the #RanoNeueClaw hashtag.

We will be selecting the winning #RanoNeueClaw photo after the 21st Consumer Fair ends this Sunday (July 1). So be creative and be sure to give the Human Claw Machine a try.

Thai street food heaven

Another highlight of the 21st Consumer Fair is the Thailand Grand Fair, which will feature a wide range of Thai street food.

We certainly do not mind putting on some weight here as we’ll take great pleasure sampling food from each and every stall. We just can’t get enough of mango sticky rice and iced ABC (cendol) here!

It’s going to be hard to miss the Thailand Grand Fair, as it is strategically located on your first right as you walk through the main entrance of the ICC.

If you happen to come across any amazing Thai street food, do drop us a line in the comments section below or via our social media platforms, and we’ll be sure to check it out. Who knows? We may even feature you on our social media posts!

Be sure to check out the Cooking Demo with Chef Sujet Saenkham at the Thailand Grand Fair stage. From June 27 to June 30, the cooking demo will be from 8pm to 8.30pm. On July 1, it will be held from 7.15pm to 8pm.

There will also be a Som Tum Making Competition, whereby the preliminary rounds will take place from June 27 to June 30 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. The final round and prize presentation will take place on July 1 from 8pm to 9.30pm.

Check these booths out!

Be sure to make time to visit DST’s 360-degree ‘SmileCam’ booth. If you have a device that supports ‘AirDrop’, the friendly team from DST will be on hand to transfer your 360-degree video. For those who do not have any devices that support AirDrop’, you can expect the file to be e-mailed to you.

Be sure to visit the booth of J3sMart. Photo shows the friendly team of the online store at the Consumer Fair. They’ll show you how easy it is to acquire things that may not be available in Brunei thanks to their easy-to-use website. Online shopping has never been this much fun! And while you’re here, grab some cotton candy too!

Enjoy buffer-less 4K video streaming with TelBru. Be sure to enquire about their ultra-fast unlimited plans. Also do check out their VR game challenge (below) at TelBru’s pavilion. We were told that the person with the highest score would get a PlayStation 4 complete with an Oculus VR set!

You could win yourself a holiday to Jakarta thanks to Cuckoo. According to Thomas Sia Yung Sook, Natural Manager of Cuckoo, customers will be eligible to take part in the lucky draw if they pay outright, instead of opting for monthly payments. For more information, visit the Cuckoo booth
Be sure to check out Nimanja’s booth for all your pet food needs
Only 100% authentic cosmetic products sold here at the Pink Puffy Pop booth (located in front of the Human Claw Machine)
Pain be gone … Be sure to check out the Starbalm booth for remedies for joint and muscle pain
According to a staff manning the Signature Kitchen booth, you will receive a Bang & Olufsen gift if you make a 10% deposit for any of their ‘Signature Kitchen’ fixtures
Just $5 for this interesting pastry that can be found around the Food Court A section. Be sure to give it a try!

Your Survival Guide To The 21st Consumer Fair

The following are some suggestions on how to ensure that you’ll have a great time at the Consumer Fair.

(1) Dart’s the way – Book a ride with the ‘Dart’ app

(Photo courtesy of Dartbrunei)

If you can’t be bothered finding parking or even driving to the ICC to visit the Consumer Fair, we have good news for you! Come ride with Dart for only $5 and avoid the hassle of waiting for the shuttle bus. Don’t worry, the Dart Car will drop you off at the main entrance. Riding has never been so easy!

*Terms and conditions:

Enter ‘dartstop’ on the Dart app as your drop-off/pick-up location to enjoy this promo ride to Consumer Fair

Fixed BND 5.00 Dart Car fare for 12km trips or below.

Trips exceeding 12km will receive a fixed discount of BND 4.00 per trip

Promo available from 10 AM to 10PM until July 1, 2018

(2) Set a meeting point.

Don’t waste time looking for your lost friends or family members.

If you are going to the Consumer Fair with a group, the last thing you want is to waste time finding that one or two lost person(s).

In this day and age, everyone has a mobile phone. But the unexpected can happen … congested network, your friend runs out of credit, not enough battery (see tip number 6 below), etc.

This is why it’s best to set up a meeting time at a set location. For example, group gathering in front of a particular painting hanging on the walls of the ICC at 3pm.

 (3) Bring cash of various denominations.

Don’t make life difficult for others. If you’re going to buy an item that’s worth only a few dollars, you don’t have to use that $100 note in your pocket.

(4) Enjoy FREE water with Cuckoo.

Did you know that Cuckoo has set up water dispenser stations at strategic points around the Consumer Fair? Be sure to enjoy the complimentary water!

(5) Bring an umbrella.

Getting caught out in the rain without an umbrella would certainly dampen your mood while browsing around the Consumer Fair. So ensure that you have an umbrella handy.

(6) Bring a power bank or two.

This is self-explanatory. Ensure that you pack one or two power banks if you’re planning to spend some time at the Consumer Fair.

Highlights of the closing ceremony:

Pavitra Kaur, the Director of Jayapuri (B) Sdn Bhd, was crowned the winner of the ‘Som Tum’ (Papaya Salad) Making Contest during the Thailand Grand Fair 2018. Photo shows Ambassador of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam, His Excellency Biravij Suwanpradhes, presenting the grand prize to the winner of the competition. Also seen in photo (far left) is Kelvin Goh, the Manager of Grace Travel Agency
Winners of the Consumer Fair Grand Draw in a group photo. The grand prize winner walked home with $1,000 cash, while other lucky draw recipients won prizes that ranged from flat-screen television sets to foot massagers

Did you happen to come across something interesting at the 21st Consumer Fair? Did you spot any cool products that you would like to share with the world? Drop us a line in the comments section below or reach out to us via social media.

10 types of mobile phone users in Brunei

Mobile phones are a part of our daily lives, whether we like it or not.

They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol.

The ‘Neue’ team has compiled a list of the most common types of mobile phone users in Brunei.

Which category do you think you or your friends fit in?

(1) The Inspired

(Photos courtesy of giphy)

Whenever you see a new photo containing inspirational quotes in one of your group chats, you would immediately share it with your other group chats.

(2) The Gossiper

“Psst! Don’t tell anyone, okay? But I need to tell you about …(fill in the blanks)”

Admit it, we’ve all been there.

You catch wind of gossip that was shared on social media.

You then share this with everyone in your group chat.

Moments later, some people in your group chat say things like: “Is this true?”, “Let’s make this news viral!”, “No way!”, “Impossible!”

(See also: Spreading rumours on social media: Why do people do it?)

(3) The ‘Batu Api’

This is a Malay proverb for a person who likes to incite other people against each other.

I’m sure your heart’s in the right place, but you seem to enjoy stirring the pot and like the confrontations that are bound to happen.

Sad but true, you are a troublemaker.

(4) The ‘Tumpis’

This is a Malay slang for a tattertale, a person who tells on others.

You seem to be the bearer of the most negative news about people in your social circle, be it colleagues or friends.

(5) The Morning Person

You are among the first to say ‘Good morning’ in your WhatsApp/Telegram group chats.

You always show up on time.

Most night-owls (secretly) do not like you. But they won’t tell it to your face.

(6) The Admirer

You are among the first to ‘heart’ your friends’ photos on Instagram.

You are also among the first to ‘like’ your friends’ posts on Facebook.

But when you meet that particular friend in real life, you just walk past each other and not say a word.

(7) The Awkward One

You always seem to say the wrong things at the wrong time.

People just don’t get you … and you laugh at your own jokes.

(8) Old School


If you are still typing ‘LOL” in your social media posts, then you have to urgently brush up on your chat lingo.

(9) Always By My Side

Every where you go, you have your mobile phone with you.

It is also the first thing you reach out for in the morning (hitting that snooze function on your mobile phone) as well as the last thing you do at night (scrolling through Instagram before setting your alarm for the next morning).

(10) The Foodie

You will share every single dish, regardless of whether or not it looks good, on all your social media platforms. You’re probably thinking of going on a diet.

Do you agree with our list?

Be sure to tag someone who you think would enjoy this story?

Go tell your friends or family what kind of mobile phone user you think they are. Be sure to tag them in your social media posts.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve given your pet?

My pet is my life.

The other day I jokingly said that my pet dogs eat better food than I do.

Do you know what the biggest joke was?

That ‘joke’ was not a joke. In fact, it was the truth.

Once I even bought a children’s playhouse just for my dog Scruffy.

The look that the cashier gave me after I told her that the playhouse was for my four-legged friend was priceless.

If you are a pet lover, I’m sure that you can relate.

Here’s a look at some outrageous (insane?) things that pet lovers gave their best friends:

(1) Portable aquarium

(Source: Wired)

Who said you can’t take your goldfish for walks? Photo above shows a goldfish bowl fitted on a specially designed trolley with wheels. It was created by a Briton named Mick Madden, a metal worker, who wanted to expand his goldfish’s horizons.

(2) High chair

(Source: Hammacher.com)

Satisfying a mutual desire for companionship, this high chair permits your dog or cat to accompany you at the dining table.

The high chair clips securely to tables up to two inches thick and its height adjusts without tools to elevate your pet to near eye level.

Folds for convenient storage and travel.

(3) Nail polish

(Source: BangStyle)

If you’re a dog owner with a keen sense of fashion and superhuman patience, why not paint its claws? With colours like “poodle pink” and “fire hydrant red”, what glitzy dog could resist?

(4) Dog harness – GoPro

(Source: Techradar)

Capture the world from your dog’s point of view. This official GoPro product is compatible with all GoPro camera models.

You can seriously infringe your pet’s privacy by watching everything it does, through its eyes but a bit higher up, at whatever resolution and frame rate your GoPro can handle.

(5) Lick your cat … like a cat

(Source: Walyou)

Why not lick your cat like a cat? With the Licki Brush, a special mouth brush that simulates the rough tongue of a cat, you can!

Cats groom each other as a form of social bonding, and so can you. The soft, silicone rubber Licki Brush helps you and your feline friend get closer than you ever thought possible in a very special way. If you are into that sort of thing.

What do you think of our list? What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve bought for your pet? We’d love to hear from you.

Thanos, a villain or hero?

At the movies: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

If you have not seen it, I highly recommend you to do so.

*WARNING* If you have not seen the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ movie, you have been warned: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

I kept telling my girlfriend, “Please do not take this moment away from me … Do not tell me which character will die in this movie!”

“It’s going to be …” she kept saying as we made our way to the April 25 (Wednesday) sneak peak at Arena Cineplex at Seri QLap Mall here in Brunei.

I sat glued to my chair in the cinema as I struggled to wrap my head around what I had just witnessed after watching the 2 hour, 40 minute-long movie. (Fun fact: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is the longest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), clocking in at 2 hours and 40 minutes.

I saw a father consoling his daughter who was grieving over the death of of her heroes as they walked out of the cinema.

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ has the highest death count of any MCU movie thus far.

There’s only one post-credit scene, so be sure to sit through the credits.

The whole fun of the movie is trying to figure out which character is going to die.

That being said, I have decided not to reveal this.

Instead, I’ll be sharing my first reactions of watching this movie.

Q: What was going through my head as the end-credits rolled?

I left the cinema supporting what Thanos had to do. In a weird way, I had great respect for Marvel’s ultimate baddie.

A scene from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

Thanos only had one mission: To bring balance to the universe by wiping out half of the universe’s population with the snap of his fingers – no matter the cost.

Depending how you look at it: Thanos could be seen as either a villain or a hero. What do you think? What’s your favourite scene from the latest Marvel movie? We’d love to hear from you.

Q: Is the movie worth you hard-earned cash?

Yes! In fact, I did not mind watching the movie for a second time a few days after the premiere.

Q: Is it important to watch the Black Panther movie before catching ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?

Yes! In fact, if you have the time (and energy) re-watch all the past Marvel movies.

Q: Were they any tear-jerking moments?

Deaths aplenty! What do you think? Of course!

Q: Besides a cameo appearance by the great Stan Lee, were they any other surprises?

Someone from ‘Game of Thrones’ will be playing a crucial role in the movie. That’s all I’ll say



Cracked your screen? Now what?

A friend asked me the other day, “Should I buy a new mobile phone or replace my cracked screen?”

I felt sorry for him.

He had just bought a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X mobile phone for 250 BND (about US$190) earlier this year.

When I asked him how much would a screen replacement cost, he told me that it would be around 200 BND.

I’m sure you can sympathise with my friend.

After all, we’ve all experienced our own cracked screen drama from time to time.

Cracked screen? We’ve all been there (Photos: Shutterstock/Pexel)

Following are some tips you should consider before deciding to get a new phone or screen:

(1) How bad is the scratch?

If it’s just a tiny crack and your mobile phone can still function, I’d strongly suggest you to wait it out.

(2) Doing it yourself may not be a good idea.

I learnt this the hard way. When I noticed a small crack on my mobile phone’s screen, I immediately went online to search for answers on how to fix it myself.

One of the “home remedies” I stumbled online involves applying toothpaste onto the screen.

Just don’t.

It is said that toothpaste is an abrasive, so it can remove prominent scratches. However, it comes at a cost because being abrasive, it will not produce a clear screen.

(3) Have you backed up all your data?

Before dropping your mobile phone at a shop to have the screen replaced, ensure that you have backed up all your data. Accidents happen all the time. So be sure to do your part to back up your precious photos, video and contact list.

(4) Screen protectors are a must!

Whenever you buy a new mobile phone, please get a screen protector. It’s a small investment to make but it will be the best one you’ll make.

(5) Do the math.

I have a very simple mathematical equation that I use whenever I have to decide between buying a new mobile phone or a replacement screen.

If the cost of replacing the screen is LESS than 50% than the price of the mobile phone, I’ll replace it.

However, if the cost of replacing the screen is MORE than 50% than the price of the mobile phone , I won’t replace it. In this case, I would rather get a new mobile phone.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Would you be willing to spend more than 50 BND for a mobile phone casing or screen protector?

Love taking photos of pets & food? Then P20 Pro is for you

The day I thought would never come has finally arrived: It’s time for my Canon EOS 700D, a 18-megapixel Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, to enjoy retirement.

Goodbye D700 you have served me well!

No, I’m not replacing it with another DSLR.

But rather, I’m going to replace it with the P20 Pro.

Huawei has unveiled an Android smart phone with three cameras on the back.

Is it just a gimmick? Perhaps.

But is it cool? You bet!

How much is it? As of April 11, Mobile World priced it as BND1,188 in Brunei.

According to Huawei, it’s the world’s first Leica Triple Camera that will push the boundaries of creative mobile photography.

Why does it take amazing photos?

It’s all thanks to the innovative three-lens camera setup on the rear.

The HUAWEI P20 Pro features an astonishing 40 MP RGB camera that delivers unparalleled sharpness, colour accuracy, focus and contrast for every single shot you take.

With the Leica zoom lens system, the HUAWEI P20 Pro can achieve 5X Hybrid Zoom. This allows you to zoom in on your subject and produce outstanding results when you want to capture incredible details at a distance.

HUAWEI AI (Artificial Intelligence) Image Stabilisation allows you to capture incredible blur-free, handheld shots in low-light using Night Mode.

I guess you can say goodbye to your tripod. Night Mode also balances high-contrast scenes for effortlessly clear, light-balanced snaps in any setting.

One of the most interesting features of the P20 Pro is that it has ‘Master AI’ that helps the phone identity, in real-time 19 different categories, which include cat, dogs, food, group, natural colours, close-up, night shot, text, greenery, portrait, fireworks, blue sky, flowers, stage, document, sunset, snow, waterfall and beach.

According to Huawei, professional photography skills like lighting and other settings are then automatically adjusted by AI so your photo is the absolute best it can be.

I must confess. I am not a professional photographer.

In fact, I’m just a simple guy who enjoys sharing photos of whatever catches my eye on Instagram.

If you enjoy snapping photos of your pets or food, the P20 Pro is that one phone you’ve been dying to get your hands on.

On a side note, did you know that Gal Gadot AKA ‘Wonder Woman’ is the new celebrity sponsor of Huawei? Watch the video below:

Are you interested in getting your hands on the Huawei P20 Pro? Will you be kicking your DSLR to the curb? We’d love to hear from you.

What do you think of Huawei's triple-lens P20 Pro?

No, it’s not just a chair

I used to think that ergonomic chairs were a waste of money.

That was until I spent over 2 months sitting on one.

Well, it takes a big man to admit he’s wrong.

And, I’m going to say it: I was wrong.

I’m now an advocate of ergonomic office furniture.

It just makes sense. Think about it for a moment.

If you are like most people, you spend most of your time in your office.

To a certain degree, it’s almost like your second home.

Now picture yourself sitting on an uncomfortable office chair for eight hours a day, five days a week. That’s 40 hours each week.

Over the months, this is going to put a lot of stress on your joints, neck and back – disrupting your productivity.

“I don’t feel valued as an employee,” a friend of mine said, as he complained about the lousy office furniture he had had to deal with for years. “My lower back hurts sitting on this chair. It’s got broken wheels for goodness sake.”

He requested that I not mention the name of his company for fear of losing his job.

However, I have seen firsthand a growing number of companies, particularly startups, who are starting to see the real benefits of investing in ergonomic furniture for their staff.

“Although I had to invest a substantial amount to get these specialised ergonomic office chairs for my staff as I was setting up the company, it was one of the best decisions I had ever made,” said a Brunei-born executive who requested anonymity.

“You cannot put a price on health,” he added.

There aren’t many furniture stores in Brunei that have extensive experience in selling ergonomic furniture quite like Sejalin, which is the official reseller of premium Scandinavian brands such as Flokk. (Photo courtesy of Ergocentric)

When asked what particular model of office chair that the executive acquired for his office, he said: “The HÅG Capisco Puls 8020 was his preferred choice.”

According to him, the saddle seat can be adjusted between low and high working positions, all the way up to standing, enabling you to be more dynamic in your movements while still balanced.

Is the chair you’re sitting on comfy or uncomfortable? We’d love to hear from you.

The chair that I'm currently sitting on is ...

Need a friend? Get ‘Fribo’ the robot for your home

Humans in nature are social creatures. That being said, how would you like to have a little robot in your house that listens to all of your activities?

Aimed primarily at people who live alone or who are not social in nature, a little robot called ‘Fribo’ will, from time to time, encourage its owner to text and call their friends.

According to scientists behind the project, ‘Fribo’ will help bring together people who are physically isolated.

‘Fribo’ the robot listens to you at home and shares your every move with your friends has been developed by scientists to stop young people feeling lonely (Source: Yonsei University & KAIST)

What’s the technology behind the ‘Fribo’, you ask?

It is equipped with microphones and sensors that listen in for domestic activities. It is designed to be left at home.

The robot is activated whenever someone comes home, switches on the lights, opens a fridge, etc. (See YouTube video at bottom of page)

It then shares these updates with its owner’s closest friends.

The robot itself isn’t really a mediator, but rather it expects the owner to reach out to his/her friends.

Even if you don’t feel like reaching out, ‘Fribo’ will, from time to time, come up with reminders.

What are your thoughts on this?

We’d love to hear from you.

Having a robot in my house that listens is:


Did you know that you can feel music?

Picture yourself listening to your favourite song in your head.

Can you ‘feel’ it?

You might have felt a chill run up your spine.

What you’re feeling is called “aesthetic chills”, which feels like waves running all over your skin.

Let the music take control! (Photos: Pexel)

According to an article published by sciencealert.com, musical passages that include unexpected harmonies and sudden changes in volume are particularly common triggers for frisson because they “violate” listeners’ expectations in a positive way, similar to what occurred during the unexpected performance by an Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent, where she masterfully performed the song, ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ (see YouTube video below).

It just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover.

Two things that came to mind as I wrote this – (1) How many times have I been too quick to judge others? And (2) I would like to get myself a pair of excellent headphones so that I have a better“aesthetic chill” experience.

We’d love to hear from you. Do you have a particular brand of headphones that you’d like us to review?

You can also send an e-mail to lance.thoo@hoco.agency if you’d like to confess that you’ve been quick to judge others in life?

If money was no object, which brand of headphones would you prefer to get your hands on?