ST Explainers: From duckweed to Zika

Mr Loh is in a dispute with UOB over a $12,327 charge after his smartphone was hacked. A female Aedes aegypti mosquito on a technician's forearm in a laboratory in Guatemala studying the Zika virus.
Mr Loh is in a dispute with UOB over a $12,327 charge after his smartphone was hacked. ST FILE PHOTO
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito on a technician’s forearm in a laboratory in Guatemala studying the Zika virus.
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito on a technician’s forearm in a laboratory in Guatemala studying the Zika virus. PHOTO: REUTERS

This is a fortnightly round-up of FAQs, pegged on news events, published on The Straits Times' website. Go to http://str.sg/Z9Zr for more.

5 tips to secure your smartphone and prevent hackers from stealing your data

The story of Mr Philip Loh, who is involved in a dispute with United Overseas Bank over a $12,327 charge after his Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was hacked, led to this listicle which offered five tips about smartphone security.

Besides the usual precautions of not opening e-mail links or attachments from unknown senders, reporter Lester Hio also advised readers to opt for security tokens rather than accepting one- time passwords via smartphones.

Tokens, he said, are isolated devices that hackers cannot reach. If you are worried that your smartphone contains malware, download anti-virus apps to check. Read more tips at http://str.sg/ZjxC


WP chief Low Thia Khiang's "duckweed" analogy takes root in Parliament debate: 6 things about the humble plant

Who would have thought that a parliamentary debate over the Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme could have deeper roots in Chinese poetry and modern science?

Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang created a viral soundbite when he compared NCMPs to "duckweed on the water of the pond".

The analogy, as it turned out, has its roots in Chinese literature as the name for duckweed, "fuping", sounds more poetic in Mandarin. "Fu" means "floating", and one meaning of "ping" is "wandering", which is why the humble plant is a popular reference in Song and Tang poetry.

And modern science has also found that this tiny plant could be a good source of protein as well as a way of removing contaminants from waste water.

Read all about this little plant at http://str.sg/Zj7e


5 things you need to know about the Lasting Power of Attorney

More simplified forms and a waiver of the $50 application fee for a basic Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) form were introduced in late 2014. As a result, the number of people appointing guardians to act on their behalf jumped by 160 per cent last year.

This online primer is a quick guide to what it is, the benefits of making an LPA, and how you can apply for one.

Read it at http://str.sg/ZjWU


Zika and microcephaly: What is happening to the babies?

What exactly is microcephaly?

The condition has hit the headlines, thanks to an outbreak of the Zika virus, which the World Health Organisation has officially declared a health emergency.

The rise in the number of babies born with the condition in the same regions as the Zika virus outbreak seems to indicate a link between the two. Here are some frequently asked questions about Zika and microcephaly at http://str.sg/ZjWN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'ST Explainers: From duckweed to Zika'. Print Edition | Subscribe