Monday, April 30, 2007

Lampe Berger



IS A SCAM!!!!



Holy lot, some of you might not have heard of it but for those who have, I hope you have found out about the truth. I don't really care how much good it does for your health (so they claim)

It's actually a type of aromatherapy thingy. I believe that initially it was really meant to be a healing product of some sort but when it came to Asia, it transformed itself into a MLM (Multi-level Marketing a.k.a. scam, ponzi scheme, pyramid scheme) machine. Remember Amway or Cosway? Let's hope Elken not turn into one either.

My mom tried putting one in my room when I had difficulty breathing or my allergy (which I found out was actually hayfever) hit.

IT DIDN'T FREAKING WORK!!!!

Even my mom stopped using it already after discovering that it doesn't work.

To all you lots who are members of the group, I would advise you to pullout as far as possible. Forget about the money you put in, there's no way you could get that back now. And please stop all those unethical pulling of new members. You're actually destroying their life for all you know it.

There are a few blogs you can read:
The last I heard there were 2 big issues:
  • Lampe Berger was listed on the Securities Commission's list (Investor Alert issued in fact) and taken out shortly after that.
  • I heard the latest scam is for a member to pay a certain amount (on top of RM30k+) and they would be enrolled in a twinning programme with some college in Australia. Upon completion can get some diploma of some sort.

There are of course noteworthy things to take form here:
  • Their marketing strategy is perfect, and they aim people's greed and emotions. I would say it's the most powerful persuasion marketing technique ever.


If you still wonder why I say this is a scam, consider this:
  • What kind of business promises you that you would earn 6-figure salaries within a short period?
  • What kind of business makes money with a product that doesn't garner as much revenue to pay for those 6-figure salaries?

If you really want to donate these people, you might as well donate it to me to fund Project MORSEHack. I can personally guarantee you that you will never see your money ever again (same with Lampe Berger) but at least you know that your money will be put to good use for the next generation. Treat it as charity ok?


So readers, be smart or be f**ked. Ok? No other way.





Sheesh Lampe Berger.

I challenge you Lampe Berger, come sue me for defamation and let's make this a big court case.

ICT in schools

Short talk: I'm supposed to be doing my dissertation now....... will resume after finishing this post.


2 pieces of news caught my eyes today. First it was the Govt telling GLCs (Government-linked Companies) to do their bit for rural schools.


Citing Telekom Malaysia as an example, there were 2 points worthy to note from it. It is particularly useful for Project MORSEHack I thought.
  • TM has provided broadband to schools (although the quality of it is subject to debate)
  • A group of students from Universiti Multimedia (MMU) will stay with their adopted families from within these schools and volunteer their services to the community here.
I think it would be particularly useful if Project MORSEHack also includes a volunteer program at its centres so that students who wants to learn more about
  • assembling computers
  • linux usage
  • possibly a bit of programming
can learn more about it from these various workshops. Other than looking good on their CV, it would also help reduce the burden of cost of running the project.

Do you have any opinions on this?

The second news that caught my eyes was this:
It says that despite the government's spending of over RM100,000 on computer labs, it is not utilised to the max. Well this is where the program could help them.

It is possible that, with the cost reduction in getting the coms and saving a bug chunk from using free software, the school authorities can spend the budget allocated to them on things like printer cartridges and papers.

Servicing the computer takes months and costs so much through official channels. However, it takes less than two hours to service it at the local computer shop at a tenth of the cost. [Source: The Star]


I'm pretty intrigued by this statement. What are the types of servicing needed?

The biggest challenge I can think of is the cathode-ray tube monitor. Until now, I think handling and repairing it is still the biggest computer hazard. Are there any effective ways to reduce the breakdown of these monitors?

Another common scenario is computers being supplied but schools not having electricity. In rural areas, there are generators but no fuel. [Source: The Star]
This is probably the next biggest challenge. But it is on the side of the school. To be eligible for the project I think it is the responsibility of the school to prove that they really have the infrastructure to accommodate these computers.

Minimum requirements should be set:
  • A suitable room which can hold the amount of computers.
  • Electricity being available in the room.
  • A good internet connection to the room.
I think these are the challenges that the project might face.

Honestly, it's a tough job but I can see it happen. What do you think?





References:
  1. Do your bit for rural schools, GLC told, The Star, 30 April 2007.
  2. ICT failure in schools, The Star, 29 April 2007.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Of scams and pissing them off

I promised Kelwin(a.k.a. TenthofMarch) that I would do a post reminding people not to fall for scams. Well at least I could show you what is scam. Read on.......

Not too long ago, I was sent an email of notice that I've won some lottery. This is the email.

WARNING LONG POST AHEAD.





FROM:THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE
AWARDS DEPARTMENT AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES LOTTERY
CORPORATION/EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

Winning Numbers GB8701/LPRC

AWARD NOTIFICATION: FINAL NOTICE

We are delighted to inform you of your prize release on the 24th of
April 2007 from the Australian International Lottery Programme with the
following information:

Date:24/4/2007
Ref: 475061725
Batch: 7056490902/188
Winning no: GB8701/LPRR

Which is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their
e-mail addresses.Your name was attached to ticket number;
47161725070564909 serial number 7741137002 This batch draws the lucky numbers
as follows: 5-13-33-37-42 bonus number 17,which consequently won the lottery
in the second category.

You hereby have been approved a prize of US$450,000.00 (FOUR HUNDRED
AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: ILP/HW 47509/02 from the
total cash prize shared amongst eight lucky winners in this
category.All participants were selected through a computer balloting system
drawn from One hundred thousand E-mail addresses from Canada,
Australia,United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa as part of our
international promotions program which is conducted annually .

This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some
multinational companies in Australia as part of their social responsibility to
the citizens in the communities where they have operational base.

Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within our European
representative office in Amsterdam,Holland, as indicated in your play
coupon and your prize of US$450,000.00 will be released to you from our
Australian regional branch bureau in USA.

We hope with part of your prize, you will participate in our end of
year high stakes for US$1.3 Billion international draw.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE:

Simply contact our Fiducial Agent, REV Micheal Karl Via
(micheal.karl@bos-uk.info)to file for your claim .

Please quote your Date of draw, Reference Number, Batch Number and
Winning Number, which can be found on the top-left corner of this
message.Also you should give in your telephone number to help locate your file
easily. For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information
confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize has
been released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double
claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this programme by non-participant
or unofficial personnel.

Note: All winnings MUST be claimed by the 10th May 2007, other wise
all funds will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually donated to
charity.

Congratulations once again on your winning!

ALSO ENSURE YOU TYPE THE EMAIL ADDRESS CORRECTLY TO ENSURE SAFE & QUICK
EMAIL DELIVERY/RESPONSE. ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON THE PART OF
WINNERS WILL RESULT TO DISQUALIFICATION.

Best Regards.

Carol Sweet(co-ordinator)

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT VIA EMAIL
(micheal.karl@bos-uk.info)

LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;

USA, MICROSOFTCORPORATION ASIA






Ok, a few points to note here:
  • They always have a deadline in which you have to claim before that date. (Just so to make you "kan cheong")
  • It's always a huge sum of money, which never in your life would you ever have the chance to win.
  • It's always sent to people living outside the country involved (In my case it's Australia)

I replied to it (for the fun of it)




To: micheal.karl@bos-uk.info

Winning Numbers GB8701/LPRC

AWARD NOTIFICATION: FINAL NOTICE

We are delighted to inform you of your prize release on the 24th of
April 2007 from the Australian International Lottery Programme with the
following information:

Date:24/4/2007
Ref: 475061725
Batch: 7056490902/188
Winning no: GB8701/LPRR


Would like to claim my winning



Go ahead, spam the fella's email as much as you want. I'm actually quite surprised he replied to my email. Wow....






British Organisation Center
Claims Department
Address-6903 Pouter Dr
E-mail:micheal.karl@bos-uk.info

Dear Wilson Quah,

The Claims department has received your information required for the claims
of your Australian Lottery Winnings ,to this effect we would require further
verifications to prove that you are the correct
beneficiary of this funds.

You are therefore advised to provide us with the following:

1)Scanned Copy of your international passport or drivers license .

2)Full Name:

3)Address:

4)Tel:

5)Occupation:

6)Age:

7)Marital Status:

These information are required due to security reasons ,Also to prevent
impersonation.
As soon as this information has been provided your details would be sent to
the funding bank for transfer approval.
Further inquires should be sent to us via e-mail

Best Regards,
Micheal Karl .




To which I replied,



Certainly, I would glady provide you with my information.

Just wondering if you're the Michael Karl I know


FROM THE DESK OF MR LUCKY
MICHEAL PERCIFICTRUST
SECURITY COMPANY BRANCH OFFICE ACCRA GHANA.
WEB;WWW.percifictrust corp.com
PRIVATE
PHONE,00233-27-7738400

SUBJECT:GREETINGS FRIEND

GREETINGS FRIEND.

I HUMBLY SOLICITING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE REGARDS TO
CLEARANCE OF $6.5
(SIX.FIVE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS)FROM MY OFFICE
HERE IN GHANA OR
HEAD OFFICE IN EUROPE THIS MONEY WAS FORMALLY
DEPOSITED IN MY COMPANY BY
YOUR BROTHER(MR MICHEAL KARL) A MAJOR CONTRACTOR WITH
SHELL
DEVELOPMENT COMPANY HERE IN ACCRA GHANA.WHOM
DIED ON A MOTOR ACIDENT WITH THE WIFE AND THERE ONLY
SON MR BOB ON
14-2-2000.IN VIEW OF THIS MY COMPANY DIRECTOR HAS GONE
TO YOUR EMBASSY FOR
INSEARCH OF HIS NEXT OF KIN/HIS RELATIONS FOR THE
CLAIM OF HIS
CONSIGNMENT MONEY BUT TO KNOW AVAIL , SO I WOULD LIKE
TO PRESENT YOU TO MY
COMPANY AS THE BENEFICIARY/NEXT OF KIN TO THIS ACCOUNT
AS THIS MONEY COULD
ONLY BE CLAIMED BY YOU HIS RELATIVE A FOREIGNER
FROM

HIS NATIONAL. ALL
DOCUMENTS TO FACILITATE THE CLEARING PROCEDURES OF
THIS FUND WILL BE IN
YOUR FAVOUR.THE PROJECTS TAKES JUST SEVEN WORKING
DAYS.I PROMISE TO
REWORD YOU 40% OF THE TOTAL SUM AT THE END OF THIS
BUSINESS 50% FOR ME
WHILE 10% WILL BE SET OURSIDE FOR MISCELLENEOUSE
EXPENSES.FINALY FRIEND I
DINT WANT YOU TO DISCLOSE THIS BUSINESS TO THIRD
PARTY.I GUARANTEE YOU
THAT THIS BUSINESS WILL BE EXECUTED UNDER A LEGITIMATE
ARRENGMENT THAT
WILL PROTECT YOU FROM ANY BREACH OF THE LAW.IF FOR ANY
REASON YOU
DECIDED NOT TO ACCEPT THIS PROPOSAL THAT I AM OFFERING
YOU TODAY,PLS
DO GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATLY SO THAT I SEARCH FOR
SOMEONE
ELSE.BUT IF YOU ACCEPT IT PLS DO REPLY ME IMMEDIATLY
WITH YOUR
TELEPHONE AND FAX CONTACT FOR EASY COMMINICATION.
BEST REGARDS,
MR,LUCKY MICHEAL.
N.B
PLEASE ENTER THE WEBSITE BUT DONT
CONTACT ANYBODY BECAUSE
KNOW BODY KNOWS ABOUT THIS DEAL APART FROM
ME AND YOU

WE HAVE THREE WAY TO CLAIM THIS MONEY
(1) YOU COME TO CARRY IT PERSONALLY
(2)IT CAN BE DELIVERD TO YOU AT YOUR DOORSTEP THROUGH
CORIER SERVICES.
(3)THROUGH ONLINE BANKING TRANSFER.
BEST REGARD,



HAHAHA, PWNZ his face, think he can con me?

My uncle once told me, if you want to be rich, there's no shortcut, you have to work hard for it.

If you follow this rule, at least you won't be conned the many thousands of ringgit.

He still have the nerves to email me.





Dear Wilson Quah ,
I Am not in any way the micheal karl who sent you that e-mail message ,i would advise that you report every case of internet fraud to the internet fraud department of the london Metro Politan police Uk ,Contact information is as follows :

E-mail :internetfraud-department@londonmetropolice-uk.net

Best Regards,
Micheal Karl .








I say we SPAM him. Email is micheal.karl@bos-uk.info.

So any of you feeling itchy wanna spam somebody's email, spam Michael Karl's.

If you wanna join in the fight against scams, write a post about it. Together we can fight it.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ijok and Bag

The week of exam is over. It's going to be a race to the finish line for my dissertation now, so cross my fingers. :D

So the news of the day today which everybody knows is that BN won the Ijok by-election. I don't think this is a disappointment, BN NOT winning is a disappointment if that happens. Thanks to phantoms?(maybe not since it's sort of a landslide victory)

Let's look at this objectively. Compare both candidates for the by-election, Parthiban and Khalid.

We know Khalid led PNB and Guthrie Bhd in the past, he's a corporate man and he makes no mistake in letting people know that he is going to run politics like he runs business(although his performance in the past is subject to debate).

Parthiban to me looks like a better candidate overall, although he's running for a rotten party. He's a family man who raised his sisters, respect. He's a much cleaner candidate(at least in the public eye) than Khalid, respect. Most importantly, he's a teacher!!!!

2 reasons why I respect teachers:
  1. My dad was a teacher.
  2. Education is sacred.
To me, BN winning that is no big deal. They are going to have to compete for the seats again for the GE and let us hope that the opposition really presents us a REALISTIC case of how to run a country, rather than go on saying how bad and corrupted the current government is.

So, Uncle Lim, Dato Seri Anwar and Dato Nik Aziz, the onus is on you guys to show us the light if you think that you have a better way of running the country.

On a side note, as I said earlier, words on the street has it that the General Election which was supposed to be held just after Hari Raya is going to be postponed. Of cose, when the exact date is, only Pak Lah will know it.

End of the political talk today. I'm damn depressed I couldn't be at home to go witness Ijok the day before polling day. I heard got a lot of drama, and I like watching drama. Sigh........ sadness.



Enough of politics, I went out shopping(dragged by someone) and guess what I got.

A BAG!!!

A freaking BAG!!! That's like the first bag I've ever bought for myself in 5-6 years, no joke. I have to admit though that most of the bags i have are gifts from friends and I got one as well from my uncle.

Too lazy to take photo of it and show u guys now so I'll just find the pic of it online and post it here.

Woo hoo, it's a Ted Baker biffo!!! Welcome to Boss Lepton's family.

I have to say it's the nicest bag I've seen so far, non-leather of course. And it has lots of space inside which can fit a laptop plus a book and some notes nicely. Not to mention it looks great.

Ah..... vanity!!! Ok, enough indulgence, have to go back to normal life and dissertation.

Ciaoz


p.s. Kelwin, I'll get the promised post about scam up tomorrow ok? I have a good 1 :D

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why is the rum gone?


Was happily studying for my next paper until anonymous message me. For the sake of women, I'll need to extort a pirates ticket from nuffnang. Sorry yea boss, anonymous wanna kau more girls...... i sweat...... Nevermind la, I sending this anonymous as my rep ok yea?

Why is the rum gone?
Coz Bacardi just went bankrupt.........

Who am I kidding?

Bacardi is the world's largest privately held, family-owned spirits company; a producer of rums, including Bacardi Superior and Bacardi 151.

And from what I know, family-owned businesses don't go bankrupt so easily. The only reason they go bankrupt is when the head of the family kong and all their cucu-cicit want a piece of the gold. You know how the old story goes....... one stick is easier to break compared to a bunch.

So lesson of the day:
Same story goes everytime. If you're one of the heir to a family fortune, don't go fighting over a small piece of cake la. Please, go bake a bigger cake, then you can still get a bigger portion than originally.

Agree???


In the meantime, if you haven't watch the alternative version of pirates yet, please...... go to your nearest and legal BitTorrent site(is there one?) and download the infamous "Pirates" alternative version. You might feel disappointed with the action(ya I disappointed) but look at the bright side, their use of CGI is amazing for an ahem.... video.


Adam & Eve, may god love you long time. Long enough to produce "Pirates 2", but with more action please.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Update on Dissertation & Ubuntu

If you're not aware, I am doing my dissertation on an algorithm called Coupling from The Past algorithm, also known as Propp-Wilson algorithm, an interesting part of Markov chain Monte Carlo. Interested readers can view the links to wikipedia.

Much work has been done on applying this algorithm to Markov chains (random fields) with monotonic structure. I've come up with a way to apply this algorithm to a specific model without a monotonic structure called the Potts model.

Download my "partly done" dissertation here, will be expecting to complete it within the next 2 weeks.




On a lighter note, I've finally decided to give Ubuntu a try, well at least I'm fairly impressed with the reviews it's getting for Feisty Fawn(7.04).

I've always been an OpenSuSE user since 10.1. If you are a linux person, you would probably notice this website called distrowatch.com. It's a site which "watches" all the linux distros there are out there and rank them in terms of popularity(page hit rank). OpenSuSE has always been in the 2nd spot since the day I found out about it, and Ubuntu has always been the champion of champion there.

Needless to say, there must be reasons why they are the champion to the distro games. From all the reviews I've read about Ubuntu, it's always stated that it is THE EASIEST desktop linux to use ever. If you know how to operate windows, you WILL know how to operate ubuntu, period.

The reason why I chose OpenSuSE over Ubuntu is that I was curious on which windows manager I would prefer, KDE or GNOME. And since OpenSuSE provides the option to install both and use either one for each session, I ended up installing it in my laptop.



Go here if you're interested in giving ubuntu a try. They deliver free(and the CDs are free too) to anywhere in the world, even in Timbuktu. No harm right?


I'm definitely gonna go all out to promote Ubuntu if my leetle project MORSEHack kicks off.

Until next time, folks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nuffnang

Notice something familiar? It's nuffnang, yes I've finally added 2 nuffnang ads in my blog. Why?

Well because of this


I would like to donate to my alma mater and I can't think of anyway to do so other than getting some ads in and donate the proceedings. Aiks...... I have to say, thank you ya boss.

In the meantime, if you're an ex-keathwa student, please consider donating some money.
If you have nothing to do with this but you're feeling generous then please donate some money here too. Seriously they should start a paypal account for this.

Otherwise, you could contribute by telling me which schools you think might need the free computers from Project MORSEHack.

In the meantime, I shall leave you with the word of the day - alma mater if you don't already know the meaning to it.

Here is wikipedia's entry on Alma mater:
Alma mater is Latin for "nourishing mother".

In many modern languages it is usually and principally heard as a term of academia; thus, in the English language, it is often used in place of the name of the university or college a person has attended. In American English, it is also heard in reference to a high school or elementary school.
SMK Keat Hwa is my alma mater, so is the University of Warwick and SMJK(C) Keat Hwa (H).

What's yours?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ijok phantoms

According to RPK of Malaysia-Today, BN will WIN the by-election in Ijok, by hooks or by crooks.

I've been talking to several people on what they think will happen in Ijok. Most of the answers I was given is "50:50". It seems that even BN with all its "buy election" campaign still can't muster enough muscle power to win the election easily. Someone might want to explain how PKR can garner that much support within such a short period.

Word has it that it's not that KeADILan has been gaining popularity in Ijok, this switch in popularity owes itself to some issues concerning the local BN leaders in the Ijok constituency.

The main issue these few days is Anwar Ibrahim going all out on Najib. That is the headline in Malaysiakini(sorry I still don't subscribe to Malaysiakini, maybe somebody in MK wanna give me a subscription?). With all the VCD distributing, he has nothing to lose while Najib has ALL to lose and nothing to gain.

Najib: How about doing some cost-benefits analysis with your political adviser on how you're gonna approach this ok? Oh wait I'm sorry..... your previous adviser is in quite deep shit himself.



Here it is then, BN going all out and pulling out all the arsenal to get Ijok in control.

We have at least 2 voters who are 107 years old, with a few more in other pages which can be seen in MT. This must be a record, so many 107 year olds staying near each other, I tell you they must have some secret to eternal youth kept there. Guiness world book of records here Ijok comes.


Also check out this voter borned in 1999, he's younger than my little cousins.

This really takes the word "phantom voters" to another level. We have very old and very young voters. Hello, you wan phantom voters, make their profiles a bit more normal la, sheesh amateurs.


Also, words on the street also has it that the General Elections will be held much later than planned. It was originally planned that the GE would be held some time just after hari raya aidilfitri. But since BN is suddenly faced with an unexpected by-election, they've spent way too much(remember RM36 million?) on this one alone. Also, remember that a big chunk (RM10 million) comes from the Ministry of Works, meaning Samy vellu's department, he has to regroup and reallocate the funds to ensure he's re-elected again?

Don't believe me? Well, it's your choice.



UPDATE:

Found somemore, here are some screenshots, courtesy of SPR Malaysia here.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away......


....... and it keeps your parents happy too.

I tried peeling an apple like so today -------->

I have to admit that using a knife to peel apple is indeed harder and slower than using a peeler. That was when I thought of how my mum, grandma or aunt peeled apple for me when I was younger. In fact, now even when I'm back at home they would do the same thing if there aren't any maid around.

Since I'm a lot older now, I think it's my turn to peel apples for them. Too bad I'm all the way in the UK now.

But YOU (yes you who are reading this) should get your bottom off the chair and walk to the fridge now to get some apples, wash them clean and start peeling them. Then, slice and remove its seeds before giving it to your parents(and grandparents). Trust me, it's not that hard and it will barely take 5 minutes of your time.

When was the last time you did this? I hope it's an answer other than "never". So start moving now and I'll assure you, they will be happy.






p.s. to reward yourself, get an extra apple and eat it yourself, keeps you healthy and helps lose weight you know?

Wish me luck

Fu yoh, need all the luck and caffeine for an action-packed week.



Action-packed indeed.

Wish me luck and all the best to all of you for the upcoming week.

:D

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wonder why Proton is in trouble?

Here's a fairly good reason why it hasn't been receiving a lot of good reviews. Take Top Gear's opinion on this, and I have to say this is very objective, unlike the infamous "Jeremy Clarkson bash Kelissa" video.





Now probably somebody would like to inform the Proton R&D department to take some tips from this video. That extra security feature could actually improve Proton's rating in other countries. We are talking about people's lives here and Malaysia is notorious to having one of the highest accident rates in the region.

Also, I have an opinion that Proton needs a major rebranding. It has to rethink its strategies not only in how it wants to build cars, it has to think of the how to convince the buyers they are getting value for their money. From what I've been seeing, it's no longer producing cars for the commoner in Malaysia, as that title should go to Perodua. What they should instead be doing is building a better car, in terms of design, functions, efficiency, and most importantly safety.

They should just snap out of talking bullshit in the media and get down to action. It is the unspoken rule of business(or in fact anything except entertainment biz) that action speaks louder than word. With this, Proton might in fact be saved once again. Make or break, it's getting critical the situation they're in.

Still wondering why are there so many fatal accidents in Malaysia?

Absurd v Absurd

small talk: Exam on Monday, Thursday, Friday. Stress sia.




How do you counter absurdity with absurdity? Sounds crazy? It's not if you're living in a little country where westerners still think you live up in the trees. I'm not crazy, ask any UK graduates and they will confirm my statement. A classical case of "absurd v absurd" surfaced yesterday on Malaysiakini.


Sarawak CM Abdul Taib Mahmud was threatening to sue Malaysiakini for the reasons stated by Jeff in his blog here. Apologies I don't subscribe to Malaysiakini and therefore couldn't view the full report. His request was to demand that 8 articles concerning accusations of corruption, involving RM32 million of logging kickbacks from Japan allegedly linked to him and his family, removed. The latest update is that he threatens to sue Sarawak PKR leaders too, and the story continues.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the same person who owns the majority in RHB until the recent EPF fiasco where EPF bought up a major chunk of the bank. Call me stupid if this isn't an obvious case of bailout by the CM. It's his right to sell his stake, I won't deny, the question should be where did he get the money to buy the bank in the first place. Fishy?

When one is accused to be corrupted, why counter by threatening lawsuit? That is just plain dumb and bring more spotlight to yourself. The sensible move is to shun all spotlights and hope people forget about it or do what our PM loves doing, play dumb. But fight back by threatening lawsuit? I quote Steven Gan saying
When we go to court, we have a long list of witnesses whom we plan to call - starting with the ACA and Japan’s tax authorities.
No joke, you're just asking for trouble.

If he's a UK politician, he would be instantly stripped of his job and he's already lucky if he doesn't end up in jail. Take David Blunkett's case here as an example.


I quote something interesting which I would love to share with all of you here:

Mr Blunkett admits he had been wrong to give a rail warrant intended for MPs' spouses to his married lover.

The home secretary's spokesman said he would repay the £180 cost of the train ticket to Doncaster, adding: "Having examined the detailed rules today he realises he has made a genuine mistake and will be repaying the cost of the ticket to the Parliamentary authorities and apologise for his mistake."

Hilarious isn't it, he has to repay £180 for giving his lover a ticket intended for MP's spouse. It's £180, compared to the sum allegedly taken in by Taib. Would really love to see kennysia write something about this(probably in a satirical manner too).

Allow me to drive home my point. People in the UK still think we live in trees, not quite so, but our mentality hasn't change much from out living-in-tree days.

Absurd v absurd, something that will only happen in a little country in the middle of nowhere which we call home.
Read Freethinker's take on this here.

Rinoa, you got a comment on this issue? Two lions or a wolf?

References:
  1. Timeline: Blunkett Resignation, BBC News, 21 December 2004.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Linux pwnz Vista

Just to make my point, first check out the XGL of Linux working on touch screen.




In your face Vista, and that was something from over a year ago. Let's see the latest in XGL, called Beryl which ships with the latest Linux distros. Here's a video that shows you why I say Linux pwnz Vista, and we're not even talking about security here.


WINDOWS VISTA (AERO) VS LINUX UBUNTU (BERYL) - Click here for more amazing videos

More videos?



Ok the fact is XGL has been available on Linux for the past 2 years while Vista took forever to come up with this. Pwnz Vista BIG TIME! Aero my arse.

Oh if you're thinking I'm going to implement this function in the computers in Project MORSEHack, nah....... the coms won't be able to support the intense graphics.

By-elections? Buy elections!

How to buy your way through elections. That's right folks, that's the hot topic that's been stirred up since the Machap by-election. Well BN bought their victory by hook or by crook, let's try to see what happens in Ijok.

First of all, one has to ask himself, what do you know about Ijok?

A search in google reveals a few interesting results. The most interesting being masak-masak's post on New Beggar's Delicious Restaurant @ Ijok. I have to say the beggar chickens look very tasty, but beware if you're muslim because they do serve pork too. Don't say I didn't warn you first.

This of course doesn't tell us too much about Ijok. Here's a map on where Ijok really is for all you katak bawah tempurung(me included). People say you have to pass Ijok if you're heading to Kuala Selangor via the north route, I wouldn't know since I stay in the south(Subang) and I've never been to Kuala Selangor(hope the kelip-kelips are still there).


After a few pages, there's still no sight of both the famous Ijok blogs. The publicity team must be doing a shit job at this. Heck, they really should go consult some SEO expert and read up on what is google pagerank.

Also, there's a rocky's post on Ijok and with some nice statistics here.

Recently, there's so much press about how development had been brought to Ijok virtually overnight. Khir Toyo's 36 million ringgit is just a prelude, I actually expect more goodies to come. I actually think now the rakyat should already figure out a strategy to get the most out of the present government.

Here's the plan if you don't already know it. By-election period, show your support to BN, and they will reciprocate you by building roads etc in your area thinking you are going to vote for him. Don't vote for BN, instead, vote for the opposition and make him win. At the next election, the BN people will try harder to please you, bringing yet again more developments. Show your support but again vote for the opposition. See the viscious cycle here?

I thought I'm pretty smart to have thought of this.


.................I must be kidding myself, there's no way BN would lose. The "law of shopping" is that when you buy something, it is legally already yours. It's Sales carnival Malaysia season if you haven't realised, for the politicians that is, and they are spending too much of the taxpayers' money on a correct region for the wrong reasons.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A smack in the face for MORSEHack?

It seems that Microsoft has finally move in their attempt to capture the growing market in emerging economies. The latest of its move is to introduce $3 Windows-Office bundle which comes with a small catch.

In order to be eligible, governments must pick up at least half the tab for the PC, though the software can also be used on refurbished computers, which can cost as little as $50, Microsoft said.

A smack in the face for project MORSEHack I would say. But then again, if it could benefit the community, we wouldn't mind using microsoft products. Problem is, it still costs money even though it's a mere RM10 per PC. And we need government's backing too, sigh Dato Seri Hishammudin, you hear that?

So Microsoft Malaysia, any statements if Malaysians would benefit from this?
clipped from blogs.zdnet.com
April 19th, 2007

Microsoft’s Linux defense: $3 Windows-Office bundle in emerging markets

Microsoft can't afford to have open source software dominate emerging markets–or it's growth is toast. The solution: $3 Windows for governments to give away.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates outlining a plan to provide low-costs bundles of Office and Windows to governments, who in theory would load these on PCs for students to use.


powered by clipmarksblog it

From London to New York

Those people at Google must be damn bored.

Thanks to William for the info.

How can a person get from london to new york? Well let's ask for some directions from Google Maps shall we?

Google Maps returns us with this:


At first glance, it's pretty weird right? Thats a straight line across the Atlantic, fishy.

In its directions:

Swims 3,462 miles eh? I think I'll pass and take the Virgin Atlantic flight instead.

Don't believe me? Click here. God they must have a good sense of humour up in Google headquarters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New initiative - Project MORSEHACK

I am starting a new initiative in improving students' computer access in schools all around Malaysia. I've just thought up a plan and thus this plan is still in at the earliest possible stage and it might not even occur depending on how things go here in UK.

Here is the plan and it is not copyrighted, so just copy it and make it happen if you think you can. Feel free to send in comments, no matter how destructive/constructive it is, I just want you to speak and tell me whether something is right/wrong.

Don't ask me how I got the name.

PROJECT "MORSEHACK"

Objective: To recycle old computers which could possibly end up in poorer countries as junk and install them in schools all around Malaysia.

Plan:
  • We need to obtain old unwanted computers mainly through donations.
  • We need a team of volunteers to
    • Fix the computers
    • Build the computers together
    • Transport the computers to schools
    • Do some extra-coding
  • We need to set minimum specs for computers, I am thinking in the line of processors running below 1Ghz and with 256Mb of RAM etc.
  • The computers will be installed with Strictly Open Source softwares:
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux
    • Office: OpenOffice
    • Browser: Mozilla Firefox
  • We need to get some funding to start the project off, a place to act as our warehouse, a method of transportation and a philosophy that would keep us working.
  • We need to think of a sustainable income source to fund the running of the project, still we strive to be non-profit.
The Idea: Build the systems, give to schools, get students to maintain with our help, get students to start hacking the system. I feel that by exposing them to linux(the OS for hackers), we would be able to let them explore the real world of computing and possibly make us the next "nerd" nation.

To make things interesting, I also propose to include in classrooms a common slogan for all the schools under the MORSEHACK project. I have in mind:

See it, Hack it, Fix it

Pretty corny yea? Anyway let me know your suggestions either by leaving a comment here, or an email to me at bosslepton@yahoo.com.

Currently I need to get some information from all of you:
  • What is the situation in the local schools like in terms of IT and computing?
  • Are there enough computers allocated by the Ministry of Education to schools already?

Spread the word. For a brighter tomorrow. For more info on similar initiatives, visit freegeek. Remember it's strictly non-profit, how much are we going to get anyway?

Let's start planning, who's with me?

Sad and angry

After writing on a post regarding how I'm doing my bid to help reduce e-waste, it saddens me deeply when I came across and article written by johnleemk on his blog regarding absolute poverty. It redirected me to the related article on Daily Express where you can find the story, the whole story and no stones left unturned.


It saddens me because after The Star published an article on a student who has to live on RM1 a day, now we are faced with a mother who has to care for 6 children living on RM70 a month. What's worse is that the boy had committed suicide. The reason?

"My son replied there would be fewer people to feed and to take care of if he were to go and that his share of the food could be given to his brothers and sisters," she said, fighting back tears. [Source: Daily Express]


Not only is she fighting back her tears, I'm also trying to hold back mine. Remember when I talked about the Gini coefficient of Malaysia? If you seriously believe that the situation has improved in our country, then as popular saying goes, please believe that pigs can fly too.

What angers me is not because that the leaders of our country lied to us about our improved life. Sure, urban citizens may see an improvement in infrastructure, but when it comes to basic needs, we are still far behind first world countries. There are just too many people under absolute poverty. I know this because my family has our roots in a small village and I've seen a lot of relatives living in relative poverty(not absolute poverty here I hope).

What angers me is the fact that people are suffering in the very state which has a chief minister whose how much his personal wealth is a topic of dispute in the public. Want more images to confirm, click here to see those evidence. When there's a bit of corruption it's the ACA's issue, when there is corruption of such a mammoth scale, it's a national issue.

We really need to address this issue in a progressive manner. Enough with the debates of who should benefit from the NEP, let us put our minds into figuring out how to help those out of these poverty traps.

Barely 2 years ago, Pak Lah said here that he wants absolute poverty to be totally eradicated in this country within 5 years. How much have we progressed? I believe the answer should be very clear to you.



References:
  1. Suicide lad's mum breaks silence, Daily Express, 7 April 2007.
  2. Malaysia had set new target to eradicate absolute poverty in the country, bes. online rtm, 24 July 2004.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am reducing E-waste, are you?

Read this article here on EcoGeek.


Apparently using Linux can help reduce E-Waste.

How?

According to the article:
"A typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows is 3-4 years. A major UK manufacturing organisation quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years." A significant difference...a doubling even, of the lifetime of a computer.
That's doubling the lifetime of a computer. A possible explanation based on my experience using Linux desktop is that a user normally changes computer when there's a significant release of an operating system. For example:
  • Windows XP ----> Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X 10 ----> Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
The "problem" which is not really a problem for Linux desktop is that the upgrades come in flashes. 5 months ago when I first started using SuSE it was version 10.1, 2 months after that 10.2 was released as a stable version with 10.3 being offered as a preview currently.Phew, that was tiring. Basically you have to keep updating that you won't even have time to think whether your computer is good enough for a particular version. Let's face it, with Vista, we all know that the recommended configuration is 2Gb of RAM with a powerful graphics card etc(a requirement which I failed miserably).




Now questions for all of you to ask yourself:

How long do you normally use a computer before you change it? Is it about time you consider changing your computer because Vista is finally out? If you're thinking like that then.........



You're creating more dumps and people from poor regions will suffer.


Solutions? I have 3 suggestions, take a pick on your favourite one and implement it.
  • Change your computer only when it is near the end of its life, meaning you can't even start it.
  • Dump Microsoft Windows and embrace Linux.
  • Donate to a fund teaching people form poor regions how to use Linux.
Why teach them how to use Linux? Introducing Slackware, the Linux that runs on systems satisfying these requirements:
  • 486 processor
  • 16MB RAM (32MB suggested)
  • 100-500 megabytes of hard disk space for a minimal and around 3.5GB for full install
  • 3.5" floppy drive



So which is your choice? Choose wisely, it's for making the world a better place.

Monday, April 16, 2007

En route to First World?

Are we really en route to becoming a first world country?

I came across this small little poll on the FT website:
Dei Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, Chairman of KTM Berhad:

Even the English think that their railway system run worse than those in Europe. By my observations, it's already quite sophisticated already, I can't get to anywhere I want on rail.

Best of all, it's all double-tracked. For the single-tracked part of Malaysia, we still have long way to go man. How can we even play catch up when the first world is progressing at a faster pace than us?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Human Capital is key

When I was in Form 5 preparing for my SPM examinations, I couldn't distinguish between a degree and a diploma. I'll be frank, I had no idea what I was going to do after secondary school and it came as a shock to me that I am about to step into an unknown world. Forgive me, I am from a little "city" called Alor Star(a city that is not a city) and I was not alone in realising the existence of an unknown world.

Don't get me wrong, the school did a lot to tell us about the options we had at that time. There were many educational fairs organised, whether by the school or some private organisations. I remember that I was at this careers talk when the speaker pop the question to me(I was sitting in the front) asking what do I aspire to become. My answer at that time was

CEO of a multinational corporation

I swear that he looked half shocked half amused. What an answer by a student, and to be honest I wasn't even thinking straight. I had just learnt the word CEO less than a day before the fair and there I was talking like I already have big ambitions. I want to be a successful businessman like my dad and my uncles, talk about influence on my youth, sheesh.



If you ask me the same question now, my answer would be no different that that time. The only difference is that I have a clear mindset of what I want to do. Why CEO? Power of course, who doesn't love power, and me being a control freak. Why multinational? Secretly I told myself that my ambition is to take a small local company and transform it into a multinational corporation, that is a show of success. Too much of a fairytale? It is possible and I adhere to this believe.

To realise this ambition, I have to equip myself with all the relevant knowledge. A degree is a key, a qualification as an actuary is a tool, a determined mindset and an acute business sense are requirements. Throughout the years, I've met a lot of different people and I certainly would love to meet more, much much more. I love to listen to what these people have to say, how they go about analysing a particular situation, how they handle the challenges and how they view life. Along with all these, I've also accumulated a few views that I think that I would adhere to one day as a businessman.

One of this views is on human capital.

I came across this article on Bernama. I quote Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop as saying:
has called on the private sector to give attention to the development of its human capital, describing it as a critical component in the country's development. [Source: Bernama]
I do in fact agree with him that human capital is vital to thedevelopment of the country. This is even more so for industries where human capital is the asset of the company such as consultancies, banks, creative industries, advertising etc compared to say manufacturing. Everybody knows this and so this is not a vital issue that we have to note.

An addendum to the above is a very crucial point I would like to stress --- human capital management. A business's success depends on how well the leader managers his employees, whether he can extract the full potential of his employees and how much loyalty he can garner from those who had shown full potential. It is also important that the employees get rewarded appropriately and given enough benefits. This is a move that doesn't only increase productivity, it also helps in bridging the poverty gap said to be widening in our country.

Another form of rewarding employee is to send them for re-education. Of course there are worries that these employees might be poached by competitors, I see this as failure of the company to build loyalty and less of the employees' fault. Why? Figure that out yourself.

Another important thing missing out from the business sector in Malaysia is the providence of pensions to the employees. I know in Malaysia, pensions provision is secured by the existence of EPF, but have you actually thought of whether an employee in your company could secure a good enough pension to lead a comfortable life after retirement? Probably an additional private scheme where feasible would satisfy your employees right? I think that this is even more true if your company is a multinational one.

Lastly, I would like to stress the appropriateness of pyin your employees right. And by paying I mean their monthly salary. There should be more studies on the appropriate pay employees should be gettind instead of just offering the market level. After all,

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys







If you're still reading here, I would love to hear your comments on this.

Please please leave a comment ok?




References:
  1. Critical for Malaysia to invest in human capital, Bernama, 13 April 2007.

Oil palm again


Can you hear me laughing? And this is possibly the last time you're gonna see this on national news, it's after all the country's no.1 agricultural export.

Read here and here for earlier posts on biofuel, oil palm and global warming.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lai pwn Liou

Again stole a picture from The Star to illustrate my point.
A classical Lai pwnz Liou, BN pwnz DAP situation.

If you have trouble understanding the meaning of pwn, here is an explanation from wikipedia:
The slang term Pwn (see pronunciation note below), used primarily in the Internet gaming culture, means to soundly defeat an opponent.
In my words, pwn means to "properly own".

And that is what happened, with the votes counted here at Elizabeth's blog. While here is an analysis by freelunch2020 on the Machap by-elections. If you're lazy to browse over, here're the numbers:
BN - 5536 5533
DAP - 1449 1452
Spoilt - 156 166 (wth does spoilt mean?)

Let's see, MCA wins by a milder margin? In statistics, we have a term for that, and that is "not significantly different". Why? there's always room for errors and randomness.

I'll list the reasons freelunch2020 gave on why MCA won:
  1. Damn high rubber and oil palm prices.
    It's not surprising at all. One of my friends who went to live with a family in a Felda estate on a homestay programme told me that before the trip, they were expecting to wake up early in the morning and live the lives of a rubber tapper. You know what they had for dinner? Abalone, I bet that most of you don't even get to eat abalone outside New Years celebrations. So no complains here, with Oil Palm being no.1 export, shortage for rubber shoots its price up, ask Tony Pua for his opinions on this. We all need rubber tyres don't we?
  2. Super-power by-election development budget
    Nothing fantastic to hooha about also. How much you want to bet that the sources of the money comes from either:
    • Donations
    • Tax Payers' money
    • Profits from VCD selling?
  3. Entertainment + makan sessions
    They even showed this on mainstream newspaper. Illegal I know, nothing you can do about it. You can either worry about this or more serious corruption cases going on.
  4. Campaigning for only 10 days?
    What you mean is that for the candidates to fulfil their promises? No can do, if in the UK they don't fulfil their promises, the next election they're out. That's the end of their political careers, no second chance(unless there's a REALLY good explanation for that) anywhere. This all depends on the voters whether they would like to believe on empty promises too. Then again, can DAP fulfil their promises as well?
  5. Allegations of money politics
    Hey they can even do that to sabotage Tun Mahathir already, what's the weird thing if it happens to someone of a lesser influence?
I don't see this as reasons for DAP's failure at all. As Lim Keng Yaik said, "I don't like the word Best Effort". If you did your best effort and can't deliver, then something must be wrong.

If you're a DAP supporter and reading this, I'm not against DAP in any ways. To me, I just don't see any point in voters voting for someone when there's a tried and true party working for them. Look how their lives have improved, isn't that the biggest reason why MCA won?

DAP: you seriously have to rethink your position. Bashing the government won't work as well if you cannot prove that you are able to do a better job then the current coalition. The whole ideology which you possess is really confusing. Uncle Lim still dreams of preventing BN to hold 2/3rds majority, that's quite unrealistic right? What we need now is a real opponent, with a true ideology which all Malaysians can trust(such as meritocracy?). Until then, you have to accept the fact that you will lose no matter how much effort you put in.

Seriously, you've been trying for so many years now and still can't win, something must be changed. Get innovative, think for the country, the big picture. This is only the prelude to the general elections, I really hope to see some really promising progress by then from the oppositions.

No matter how much I've thought about it, no matter how corrupted it is right to the core, no matter what underhand tactics they use, BN as I see it clearly offers the better package for all Malaysians with its multicultural components. Remember, multicultural is the key.




Random phrase of the day: "Real gold not scared of fierce fire - 真金不怕红炉火" (Forgive me for the shabby translation, I can't think right at this hour of the day)

p.s. congratulations to Lai on winning. Liou: don't take it too hard, as long as you work for the rakyat, they'll realise it, seriously action speaks louder than words.

Fear the worst

I've registered to buy some tickets to live earth concert, show your support too!

In the meantime, let's start the show. Starting with our very first high profile resignation.
Sabah's DCM has handed in his resignation.

Question of principle, Tan Sri Chong? How much has this to do with Musa Aman's alleged corruption practices? Only he himself would know the answer for that.

So what next, you ask? I don't know, a few issues that would be the key for the next few months:
  • Sarawak's CM Abdul Taib Mahmud's corruption allegations.
  • Johari Baharum's corruption charges.
  • Razak Baginda's trials.
  • Zulkipli Mat Noor's corruption charges.
  • Musa Hassan's war against all the corrupted "leaders".
  • Sabah's CM Musa Aman's corruption practices and whether anybody would take action against it.
Razak Baginda's case is not a corruption case you say? MT gave an alternative explanation on Razak Baginda's case. The relationship between him and Altantuya is actually not a romantic one but one of business. It relates to the purchase of Sukhoi submarine incident a few years ago. Apparently Altantuya wanted the money to be paid off to some "other party".

So why so many high profile corruption cases you ask? Don't ask me, Malaysia's corruption perception index just went up last year. Maybe some of you might want to enlighten me on how the business world works around all these corruptions?

When there's corruption charges, there will be a benefactor and a benificiary. I wonder why all the charges are only against the beneficiary and non on the benefactor. Maybe these benefactors pay more to the authorities to only take charges on the beneficiaries? Don't be surprised, anything's possible.

How are these issues going to proceed. I'm speculating that at some point, Tun Mahathir would step in and disrupt something as well. After all, we know he is not a person that shies away from national issues. The question is why has he not spoken anything on these yet so far? Too many questions too few answers.

Fear the worst! This might be just the start.



p.s. I wish Tan Sri Chong a happy retirement and more time to spend with your family.

Reference:
  1. Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister resigns, The Star, 13 April 2007.

Difference between 1997 and 2007?

What's the difference between 1997 and 2007?

Well, the event in 1997 gave him the driving seat on route to become the next PM.

The events that will happen in 2007 will ...................... ? Fill in the blanks yourself.
He sure looks worried in this latest photo. Why the long face?

I hope it's nothing to do with this as told on Malaysia-Today. Watergate or Dolahgate?

All rakyat:
  • Get popcorns and your soft drinks ready.
  • Go out and shop for the most comfortable sofa set.
All BN-govt basher blogger:
  • All the above.
  • Get you banners and flags ready.
  • Charge your videocam and digicams on full, heck, throw in an extra battery.
  • Reconfigure your computers so that they don't fail you at the time when you most need them.
All businessmen:
  • Non of the above.
  • Get your secretaries to get ready for overtime. Heck, hire one more secretary.
  • Get your management team ready for brainstorming sessions.

WHY??

The next month or two would be jam-packed. Forget 1997 when Anwar was arrested, this could be bigger and better.

Dramas for the rakyat.
Opportunity to bash kau kau the garmen by the opposition.
And for businessmen, well "sometimes matador wins, sometimes bull wins", choose your side wisely.

p.s. I'm tagging this national because it's gonna be important for the nation.