Proper Video, From An ESP32

Proper Video, From An ESP32

Back in the day a miniature television, probably on a wristwatch, was the stuff of science fiction. Now, it’s something which can be done with a commodity microcontroller, as [Atomic14] shows us with the ESP32-TV that plays both video and sound. Even with modern silicon it’s still somewhat pushing the envelope.

As he explains in the video below the break, not all formats are simple enough to be decoded on the fly by a microcontroller. But he finds an AVI file to be within its capabilities which can be created with a bit of ffmpeg wizardry. The board is a fairly standard ESP32 device with an I2C bus, and the video stream isn’t too fast for this meager interface. You’ll maybe recognize the Muppets clip, but it’s possible that the early-80s BBC comedy staple The Young Ones might have passed you by if you’re not British.

We think this code is likely to be of use in quite a few projects, and it would be great to see it further refined. Small video players for not a lot of money can never be a bad thing.

Previous ESP32 video projects which have appeared on these pages have been more likely to involve driving a display directly.

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Kendall Jenner Addresses Cucumber Cutting Controversy on ‘The Kardashians’: ‘I Cut That Cucumber Safely’

Kendall Jenner Addresses Cucumber Cutting Controversy on ‘The Kardashians’: ‘I Cut That Cucumber Safely’

Kendall jenner
Image Credit: Richard Young/Shutterstock

In The Kardashians season 4 premiere, Kendall Jenner tackled a pressing KarJenner issue: Cucumber-gate. The 27-year-old supermodel went viral in May 2022 over a Kardashians scene that showed her trying to cut a cucumber in the most awkward way. Despite the incident happening over a year ago, she had to set the record straight about the whole thing.

Kendall Jenner Addresses Cucumber Cutting Controversy on The Kardashians.

“By the way, guys. I cut that cucumber safely,” she said. “So anyone who says I can’t cut a cucumber… it was sliced, it was cut.” When it comes down to it, the end result is all that matters. Kendall may have struggled to easily slice the vegetable, but she got the job done.

Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner on ‘The Kardashians.’ (Hulu)

Kendall continued, “People really think it’s like a diss now. It’s like, you’re hanging out with her? She can’t even f**king cut a cucumber. You think that you’re offending me? ‘Cause you’re not. Like, who gives a sh*t? Seriously.” Kendall declared that this was “the last thing I’ll say about this f**king cucumber thing.”

Kendall, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Khloé Kardashian engaged in a guacamole-making contest while in Cabo. Thankfully, no cucumbers needed to be cut. Kim, 42, noted that Kylie, 26, and Khloé, 39, are the best cooks in the family. The SKIMS founder said she’s “probably” the worst cook. “Probably right under that cucumber that Kendall can’t cut,” Kim quipped.

In May 2022, a viewer tweeted that Kendall’s cucumber-cutting skills were “the most tragic thing ever witnessed.” The 818 Tequila founder mocked herself and responded, “Tragic!” Kendall continued to troll herself over the cucumber controversy months later. She dressed up as a cucumber for Halloween.

Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner in 2017. (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

“I’m giving out fruits and veggies tonight,” Kendall captioned her Instagram post. Kendall was decked out in a sliced cucumber costume, dark green leggings, and boots. She also held a knife similar to the one she attempted to cut a cucumber with months before. New episodes of The Kardashians season 4 drop Thursdays on Hulu.

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Asia FX muted as Fed fears persist, yen rises amid intervention watch By

Asia FX muted as Fed fears persist, yen rises amid intervention watch By– Most Asian currencies moved little on Thursday amid persistent concerns over hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve, while the Japanese yen rose slightly as markets watched for any intervention in currency markets by the government. 

The dollar remained perched at 10-month highs, with the and moving little in Asian trade. But most regional currencies remained weak against the greenback, after the Fed signaled that it will keep U.S. interest rates higher for longer. 

Japanese yen rises slightly from 10-mth low, intervention in focus 

The rose 0.2%, recovering slightly from a 10-month low. The currency was now spitting distance from  the 150 level to the dollar- a milestone that some traders believe will trigger intervention by the government.

Persistent weakness in the yen drew several warnings from Japanese government officials over betting against the yen. The currency was battered by a growing gap between local and U.S. yields, following hawkish signals from the Fed. 

An ultra-dovish outlook from the Bank of Japan was also a key driver of the yen’s recent weakness, after the central bank last week said it had no immediate plans to lift rates from negative levels. 

The Japanese government had sold record levels of dollars in late-2022 to fish the yen from over 30-year lows. But since then, U.S. interest rates have risen further, pointing to more pressure on the yen. The currency is also expected to retest 30-year lows if it breaks above 150. 

Markets were also awaiting key Japanese , due on Friday. 

Broader Asian currencies moved in a flat-to-low range. The rose slightly, but remained close to record lows amid pressure from a recent spike in oil prices.

rose 0.3%, recovering from a 11-month low even as data showed retail sales grew less than expected in August. 

Chinese yuan sees few pre-holiday bids, PBOC intervention also in focus 

The moved little in onshore trade on Thursday, ahead of the week-long Autumn festival holiday.

While a series of strong daily midpoint fixes from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) supported the yuan, its outlook remained largely negative, amid persistent concerns over an economic slowdown in China. The PBOC was also seen instructing state banks to sell dollars and support the yuan this week.

Renewed ructions in China’s property market- after media reports highlighted more government scrutiny against embattled developer China Evergrande Group (HK:)- also weighed on the yuan in recent sessions. 

Still, positive data pushed up some hopes of an economic recovery in China. Data on Wednesday showed Chinese rebounded in August after a year-long slump.

The Autumn festival holiday is also expected to boost consumer spending, while due later this week is expected to show some improvement in manufacturing activity.

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Kim Kardashian Claims Kourtney’s Kids Have Come to Her Over ‘Problems’ With Their Mom

Kim Kardashian Claims Kourtney’s Kids Have Come to Her Over ‘Problems’ With Their Mom

Kim Kardashian
Image Credit: Hulu

Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian’s relationship hit a new low in The Kardashians season 4 premiere. During their intense phone call, the sisters exchanged cruel barbs about one another. Kim, 42, accused Kourtney, 44, of hating the family and being a “different person.” Kourtney responded, “I don’t need you guys anymore. I don’t need to be a part of it.”

Kim didn’t stop there. She told Kourtney that all of her friends and their family have been talking about her. Kim even mentioned a group chat labeled “Not Kourtney.” Kim claimed she was just trying to mend their relationship, but Kourtney did not see it that way.

“It’s about you. You are a narcissist. It is all about you. Anything you do is about you and how it looks to the world about you…” Kourtney said. The SKIMS founder replied, “We all are concerned. We all think that you’re just really not happy.”

Kourtney, who is mom to Mason, Penelope, Reign, and a soon-to-arrive baby boy, had quite the mic-drop response. “I have a happy life, and the happiness comes when I get the f**k away from you guys. Specifically you,” the Lemme founder told Kim. Kourtney explained that she has better things to do than have “side chats” about people.

That’s when Kim went for the jugular. “Well, your kids have even come to me with problems that they have and how you are, so…” Kim said. Kourtney asked if that was “helpful” to the conversation. Kourtney began to cry and told Kim over the phone, “It’s like you’re just a f**king witch, and I f**king hate you.”

Kim Kourtney
Kourtney and Kim Kardashian at the Yeezy show in 2020. (Laurent Vu/SIPA/Shutterstock)

Kim and Kourtney sat down together for a joint confessional in the aftermath of their phone call fight. “I think it’s just there’s so many thoughts that come up after watching all of the edits,” Kourtney admitted. “I think it felt to me like in the call that Kim was just, like, using any weapon that she could find to hurt me… I think we both got to a place that we weren’t proud of.”

Separately, Kourtney noted that the phone call fight with Kim was “really hurtful.” She continued, “I felt reminded of this characteristic that has been in my family for so many years where we say mean things to hurt each other, and it’s what I work hard at in therapy to change. And when I’m reminded of those types of things it really is hurtful. Like, why would my family treat me that way?” New episodes of The Kardashians season 4 drop Thursdays on Hulu.

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Kourtney Kardashian Slams Kim as ‘Selfish’ & a ‘Narcissist’ in Shocking Phone Call Fight

Kourtney Kardashian Slams Kim as ‘Selfish’ & a ‘Narcissist’ in Shocking Phone Call Fight

Kim Kourtney Kardashian
Image Credit: John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian’s ongoing rift was taken to a whole new level in The Kardashians season 4 premiere. Three days before a family trip to Cabo that did not include Kourtney, Kim and her sister had a heated phone call.

Kim, 42, called her older sister to talk about the Dolce & Gabbana contract. She wanted Kourtney, 44, to come with her to Milan for a campaign event. They started to talk about watching the edits of the show, which only amplified their tiff over the Dolce & Gabbana situation. Kourtney previously accused Kim of using her wedding as a “business opportunity.”

Over the phone, Kourtney told Kim, “I think it’s that you saw this thing that was mine and that wasn’t yours and that you wanted it. And you took it and made it bigger.” Kim denied this. Kourtney stressed that this wasn’t about the D&G clothes, but something much deeper. Kim still believed it was about the clothes and dissed Kourtney’s ’90s-themed wedding to Travis Barker as not “original.”

Kourtney snapped back, “You’re talking about the bullsh*t details because it’s all your egotistical, selfish mind can think about. You cannot stand someone else being the center of attention. You came to my wedding, you couldn’t be happy, you complained from the second you got there until the second you left.”

Kourtney didn’t hold back. She continued, “You couldn’t be happy for me. You couldn’t be happy that I was the center of attention and you weren’t.” Kim responded by asking Kourtney why she hates her so much. “I was so happy for you,” Kim said. Kourtney admitted that she felt at her wedding that Kim wasn’t “happy” for her. She also called Kim a “narcissist” and a “witch.”

Kim Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney and Kim Kardashian in 2018. (Hahn Lionel/ABACA/Shutterstock)

Kim went on to claim that Kourtney has a “serious vendetta” against her and claimed that the entire family is “concerned” that Kourtney is “really not happy.” Kourtney promised Kim that she has a “happy life, and the happiness comes when I get the f**k away from you guys. Specifically you.”

Later, Kim and Kourtney sat down together for a joint confessional. Kourtney pointed out that it felt like “Kim was just, like, using any weapon that she could find to hurt” her during the phone call. “I think we both got to a place that we weren’t proud of,” Kourtney said. New episodes of The Kardashians season 4 air Thursdays on Hulu.

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In A Jam’, ‘Storyteller’, ‘Necro-Smith’ and More – TouchArcade

In A Jam’, ‘Storyteller’, ‘Necro-Smith’ and More – TouchArcade

Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, we’ve kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years that’s the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this week’s new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games you’ll be picking up!


Baseball Stars 2 ACA NEOGEO ($3.99)

iTunes Description

BASEBALL STARS 2 is a sports game released by SNK in 1992.
Get the full experience with intense graphics and passionate announcers!
Time to see some exciting baseball! Use the Power-bat to send the ball flying for an amazing home run!
The Auto-Fielding system allows for even beginners to enjoy the intense gameplay.

Forum Thread: Baseball Stars 2 ACA NEOGEO (by SNK)

Bonza Phrases (Free)

iTunes Description

Bonza Phrases is a casual word puzzle game for mobile. Players will appreciate the clear and simple approach, suitable for the whole family. Bonza Phrases is designed to be a rewarding learning experience. Much like other games in the Bonza series, players will find insight and inspiration from the puzzle content.

The game follows a classic linear level progression, with new chapters unlocked over time. The daily puzzle features topical content throughout the year. Players are also encouraged to submit their own puzzle ideas that could feature as an upcoming daily puzzle.

Forum Thread: Bonza Phrases (by Minimega)

Colossal Cave 3D (Free)

iTunes Description

Embark on a timeless journey through a sprawling cave system packed with treasures, creatures, mazes, and wits-defying puzzles. The great grandpappy of adventure games will test you and tickle your problem-solving skills as you unearth its plot and secrets. Through cunning trial-and-error you will crawl through tight squeezes, encounter impressive caverns, collect inventory, locate treasure, thwart dwarf attacks, all while keeping your eye on the score before your lamp goes out.

Forum Thread: Colossal Cave 3D (by Cygnus Entertainment, LLC)

Elderand ($6.99)

iTunes Description

Become the hero of an epic quest in Elderand, a metroidvania that will test your will and skill. Heads will literally roll in this gruesome, retro-inspired action platformer, where only the strong will survive in brutal, skill-based combat against terrifying creatures.

Through the darkness and madness, promised glory awaits. Wield a variety of killing instruments and abilities to test your metal against towering, bone-chilling bosses. Explore a twisted Lovecraftian world shrouded in darkness and madness. RPG elements allow you to customize your battle experience to your liking, from your character’s appearance to skills, stats, and weapons. Slay or be slain as you collect glory and treasure in this nightmarish 2D world.

Glory and riches await those who can spill the required blood and guts to collect it.

Forum Thread: Elderand (by Plug In Digital)

The Last Game ($1.99)

iTunes Description

Embark on a perilous journey in this addictive action roguelite adventure.

FIGHT FIERCE ENEMIES – Discover 5 floors defended by 13 different bosses.

BECOME STRONGER – Discover more than 80 different items and find powerful synergies. Unlock the 7 different characters with their specific behavior.

PLAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS – Up to 4 players can play in co-op and establish multiplayer-specific strategies. You need to add controllers to be able to play in multiplayer mode.

DIE OFTEN – But unlock starting items, revive stronger than ever, and discover the truth behind that game.

Forum Thread: The Last Game (by Frederic Julian)

Necro-Smith ($2.99)

iTunes Description

Assemble the dead using different body parts while upgrading your tower, combine the abilities of the different fantastic races to fight your way through the hordes of enemies and overrun the ’chosen ones’. To tell the truth, the dead are pretty, uhm, dumb.

About the Game:
The necromancer, along with his faithful companion, the Cat, finds himself in an unknown world, and tries to find a way to return home. Fortunately, along with the main character, there were also magical tools in this world. Using his knowledge and skills, the Necromancer decided to use the remains scattered around to protect himself from aggressive local creatures and find the blueprints of the ship to escape.

Forum Thread: Necro-Smith (by MiYi Game)

Netflix Stories: Love Is Blind (Free)

iTunes Description

A new season of “Love Is Blind” is in flight! It’s your turn to find love, romance and drama in the pods. Customize your character, choose your story and take a shot at true love in this interactive story game based on the hit series.

You’re the newest contestant on “Love Is Blind.” Try the social experiment for yourself and date several mystery suitors in pursuit of true love. Choose your story and decide: Is love really blind?

Forum Thread: Netflix Stories: Love Is Blind (by Netflix)

Pro Wrestling Manager 2024 ($9.99)

iTunes Description

Take control of your very own pro wrestling promotion with the highly anticipated sequel to PWM 22 and 23- Pro Wrestling Manager 2024! Get ready to experience the most intuitive and in-depth mobile pro wrestling management game.

Forum Thread: Pro Wrestling Manager 2024 (by WrestleWorks)


iTunes Description

• Play now and get a cute Helpie costume!

• Hundreds of levels with unique gimmicks await you! Join the puzzle solving adventure now!

Experience a completely new kind of match 3 puzzle! Control the direction of the puzzle blocks and feel the excitement when they explode!


RobbyTron ($0.99)

iTunes Description

Help Robby evade and destroy the bad Bots. 40 levels, Many Different Games. Design your own game. Practice a level. 201, 301 and 401 Hack included. Tanks, Brains

RobbyTron has a mission to eliminate all the bad bots and save any good citizens left.

Enjoy many different types of Robots which are out to get you. Fun but not too serious. Many different levels and game types to choose from. Even Practice a level or design a level with many Tanks or Mommies.

Forum Thread: RobbyTron (by Rob Rightmyer)

Rotate the Rings: Pet Rescue (Free)

iTunes Description

This is a heartwarming puzzle game where players solve challenges by rotating rings to find the gap and save cute pets. Each puzzle involves saving pets such as dogs, cats, birds, snakes, or even dragons. Play as Alice, the smart girl, on an island adventure and solve them all. Real adventure awaits!

Forum Thread: Rotate the Rings: Pet Rescue (by Genix Lab)

Soccer Manager 2024 (Free)

iTunes Description

This football manager game has total accuracy and immersion. Find and buy star players for your favourite club; then use tactics, skill, and strategy to become champions.

Soccer Manager 2024 is the ultimate mobile football manager game with unrivalled accuracy, immersion, and enjoyment. Take control at one of over 900 clubs in 54 leagues across 36 countries around the world. Buy, sell, and manage real FIFPRO-licensed players to create your top eleven with accurate attributes.

Now you can manage international teams in major qualifiers and tournaments against other teams in your continent and around the world. Enjoy stunning match and environment visuals, with player likenesses and animations never having looked so good! Handle transfers, training, tactics & formations, and develop your football club’s facilities as you rise to become champions.

Forum Thread: Soccer Manager 2024 (by Invincibles Studio)

SpongeBob Adventures: In A Jam (Free)

iTunes Description

Get Ready to go on an Amazing Adventure with SpongeBob and his Friends! Plankton’s latest scheme to steal the secret Krabby Patty Formula has backfired in a big way, leaving the world covered in JellyFish Jam! Now it’s up to you and SpongeBob, along with friends new and old to rebuild and restore order to Bikini Bottom and Beyond!

Forum Thread: SpongeBob Adventures: In A Jam (by Tilting Point)

steks ($2.49)

iTunes Description

Welcome to steks, the game that’s like Tetris and Jenga combined. steks is a tower-building puzzle game that will test your strategic skills and creative thinking. Dive into a world of blocks that don’t quite fit together, creating teetering towers that might collapse at a moment’s notice – only your skill will keep them standing.

With its unique gameplay mechanics, lo-fi aesthetic and addictive quest for height, steks offers an immersive and relaxing experience without any stressful time pressure. The only challenge is how tall you can make your tower, and how solidly you can rebuild it after it all comes crashing down.

Forum Thread: steks (by Bleppo)

Storyteller (Free)

iTunes Description

Once upon a time — wait, what comes next again? Drag and drop fairy-tale characters onto the page to build surprising stories in this award-winning puzzle game.

An enchanted book of stories lays blank before you. Only the greatest storytellers can fill it with tales of romance, magic, adventure and intrigue. Assemble each interactive comic from a library of animated settings and characters that react in real time to your choices. Work your way through each genre to earn the coveted storyteller’s crown!

Forum Thread: Storyteller (Daniel Benmergui/Annapurna Interactive)

Super Dash (Free)

iTunes Description

Welcome to Super Dash – Endless Run, our breathtaking 3D endless runner game that delivers a thrilling adventure combining the elements of endless running, fast-paced action, and reflex challenges! Dodge obstacles and chasms, and experience the excitement of a hyperdrive as you race through a variety of landscapes, including serene forests, treacherous Dunes, and the mesmerizing luminal space environment, all with smooth controls. Compete on global leaderboards as you collect gems, level up, and indulge in addictive gameplay that makes you run for your life while performing thrilling hyperdrive stunts.

Forum Thread: Super Dash (by Mad Yeti Games)

Swaplette (Free)

iTunes Description

Do you like word games and want to try something new?
In Swaplette your task is to compose pairs of English words in which some letters are interchanged. Tap on the letters to swap their positions with letters of the same colour in the other word until both words are complete.

You can set the difficulty of the game by the number of letters in the words, and also whether the first letters in the words are fixed or not.

Forum Thread: Swaplette (by MMXIX)

Swords and Sandals Immortals (Free)

iTunes Description

It’s Swords and Sandals as you’ve never seen it. Brutal turn-based combat where gladiators can lose limbs, wield guitars and yell so loudly their foe’s heads will fall off. This is the most fun you’ll ever have in the arena, and it all starts here.

Create a gladiator from one of dozens of races, make them a 7 foot undead giant with a battle axe or a tiny jelly blob with a laser cannon. Your gladiator will be unlike any other, with deep skill trees and hundreds of weapons to craft and equip you will not face the horrors of the arena unprepared! For a decade we wondered what happened to the Starbound Gladiator at the end of Swords and Sandals III … now all answers are revealed as the robotic Automatons return to Brandor with new space-age technology!

Embark upon a massive new single player campaign in the form of Swords and Sandals VI, where you shall journey across the vast continent in search of fabled Arena Champions to defeat. Do battle in the scorching heat of the T’Kash desert, in the lonely abyssal caverns of the Forbidden Depths and in the great palaces of Phaetor itself.

Forum Thread: Swords and Sandals Immortals (by LLC)

Tangle Tower ($4.99)

iTunes Description

Unravel a thrilling mystery by exploring a strange and twisted mansion, discovering curious clues, interrogating peculiar suspects and solving unique puzzles.

Freya Fellow has been murdered. The lead suspect? A shadowy figure found looming over her body, wielding a knife. The problem? That suspect… is just a painting.

Investigate the entirety of Tangle Tower, from the bizarre and eerie gardens, to the cold and ominous crime scene at the very top.

Forum Thread: Tangle Tower (by SFB Games)

Underground Blossom ($2.99)

iTunes Description

Descend into the Rusty Lake Underground and travel through the life and memories of Laura Vanderboom!

Travel from station to station, each metro stop symbolising a piece of Laura’s past and future. Solve various puzzles, find the correct metro to board and uncover one of Laura’s timelines, while simultaneously helping her make sense of her life and escape the corruption of her mind!

Underground Blossom is a new point-and-click adventure developed by the creators of the Cube Escape & Rusty Lake series.

Forum Thread: Underground Blossom (by Rusty Lake)

Wild Runners (Free)

iTunes Description

Wild Runners is a fun and innovative multiplayer 3D running game. Features:
– Choose from 12 unique and crazy animals
– Unlock over 24 amazing power-up cards
– Enjoy fast procedural racing with silly obstacles and platforms
– Discover 4 wild environments with different atmospheres
– Collect stars to claim amazing rewards
– Climb the trophy road and complete weekly missions to unlock more rewards!

Forum Thread: Wild Runners (by Bump Games)

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Hands-on with ChatGPT's image recognition and voice features: image recognition isn't perfect and refuses to discuss faces, voice is fluid and natural, and more (Kevin Roose/New York Times)

Hands-on with ChatGPT's image recognition and voice features: image recognition isn't perfect and refuses to discuss faces, voice is fluid and natural, and more (Kevin Roose/New York Times)

Kevin Roose / New York Times:

Hands-on with ChatGPT’s image recognition and voice features: image recognition isn’t perfect and refuses to discuss faces, voice is fluid and natural, and more  —  The image-recognition feature could have many uses, and the voice feature is even more intriguing.

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MOF announces new S$1.1B Cost-of-Living Support Package – here’s what S’poreans can expect

MOF announces new S$1.1B Cost-of-Living Support Package – here’s what S’poreans can expect

In a bid to help low- and middle-income families grapple with the escalating living expenses, the Singaporean government has unveiled a S$1.1 billion support package, which includes additional cash payments and vouchers for citizens. These measures are expected to benefit approximately 2.5 million Singaporeans.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (MOF) Lawrence Wong announced the new Cost-of-Living Support Package today (September 28). Mr Wong stated that these measures would provide essential relief as households continue to bear the impact of price increases across various sectors.

As part of this support package, eligible adult Singaporeans will receive an extra cash payment of up to S$200 in December 2023. This payment will be added to the existing Assurance Package (AP) cash component scheduled for disbursement later this year, resulting in a total cash disbursement of up to S$800 by the end of 2023.

The disbursement criteria for the cash payment are as follows:

  • Adults aged 21 and above in 2023.
  • Annual assessable incomes of up to S$100,000.
  • Ownership of not more than one property.

Individuals with assessable annual incomes of less than or equal to S$34,000 will receive the full S$200 payout, while those earning between S$34,000 and S$100,000 will receive S$150.

CDC vouchers and additional rebates for households

cdc vouchers
Image Credit: CDC Vouchers

Starting from January 2024, every Singaporean household will receive an additional S$200 in Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers, bringing the total amount disbursed that year to S$500.

These vouchers will be distributed equally, with S$100 allocated for spending at heartland merchants and hawkers, and the remaining S$100 for use at participating supermarkets.

Households will be able to claim their vouchers from January 3, 2024, until the end of 2024.

Approximately 950,000 households will enjoy an additional one-off 0.5-month Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate, in addition to regular rebates. This additional rebate will be disbursed in January 2024 and aims to offset the S&CC increase for one to four-room Housing and Development (HDB) flats in the first year, or up to 85 per cent for larger HDB flats.

Furthermore, an extra S$20 per quarter of U-Save rebates will be provided to 950,000 households for two years, from January 2024 to December 2025.

These rebates will be disbursed alongside the regular U-Save rebates, helping cushion the impact of price increases in carbon tax and water prices, set to occur in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

They will fully offset utility bills for one-to-two-room flats, offset 80 per cent of bills for three-to-four-room flats, and offset 65 per cent of bills for larger flats on average.

Public transport subsidies

singapore public transport
Image Credit: Ministry of Transport

In addition to the cash payments and vouchers, MOF also announced an allocation of approximately S$300 million in 2024 for public transport subsidies.

These subsidies will cover the deferred fare adjustment quantum of 15.6 per cent that will be carried over to future fare review exercises, as stipulated by the Public Transport Council on September 18.

Resident households with a monthly income per person not exceeding S$1,600 will receive Public Transport vouchers worth S$50. These vouchers will be disbursed from the end of December and can be used to top up fare cards and purchase concession passes, helping to alleviate the financial burden of public transportation costs.

With these support schemes, it’s evident that the comprehensive Cost-of-Living Support Package aims to provide crucial financial relief to its citizens in the face of rising living costs, ensuring that vulnerable segments of the population receive the necessary assistance to cope with economic challenges.

Featured Image Credit: iStock / Getty Images

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Australia job vacancies tumble from record levels in latest quarter By Reuters

Australia job vacancies tumble from record levels in latest quarter By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers cast shadows as they stroll among the office towers Sydney’s Barangaroo business district in Australia’s largest city, May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

By Stella Qiu

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Job vacancies in Australia slid from record levels in the three months to August, adding to signs that the country’s labour shortage might be easing as interest rate hikes work to constrain demand.

Vacancies fell by 8.9% from the previous quarter to 390,400, the biggest decline and the lowest level in two years, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed.

That was down 15% from a year ago, but still 71.5% higher than in February 2020.

Australia’s unemployment rate has also climbed, to 3.7% from a record low of 3.4%, data showed this month.

“While these indicators are no longer at historical levels, both are still showing that the labour market is tighter than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kate Lamb, ABS head of labour statistics.

The percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy fell to 21.7% in August, the lowest since the quarter ending in November 2021.

Analysts believe that demand for labour, which has been incredibly resilient, will slow given that the Reserve Bank of Australia has raised interest rates by 400 basis points since May last year to an 11-year high of 4.1%.

The central bank has been on hold for three straight months as policymakers see a credible path of returning inflation back to 2-3% target without crashing the economy.

Thursday’s data showed vacancies in the private sector fell 9.2%, while the public sector saw a drop of 6.3%.

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Stardew Valley’s 1.6 update was supposed to be for modders, but it’s adding 8-player support, three festivals, over 100 lines of dialogue, and more

Stardew Valley’s 1.6 update was supposed to be for modders, but it’s adding 8-player support, three festivals, over 100 lines of dialogue, and more

When Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone announced back in April that his life-consuming farm-life sim would be getting another update, he described 1.6 as “mostly changes for modders (which will make it easier & more powerful to mod)”, saying the number of new additions would be “much less than 1.5.” He’s got Haunted Chocolatier to work on, after all.

Then he tweeted a picture of some kind of JojaMart gold parrot, suggesting the less-popular pro-capitalism side of Stardew would be getting a little love in the update. And now he’s shared a sneak peek of what the 1.6 update will contain, and it’s a lot more than just changes for modders.

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