W3C = Disability Access?

It’s amazing how this website can equate the World Wide Web Consortium to “Disability Access”. Unless the brackets mean something else.

I was attracted by the announcement at the front page “… now equipped with W3C function. Click to know more.”

Shouldn’t the correct term be “Accessibility”?

W3C is a body that develops interoperable technologies and standards for the web. While it’s true that they are the body maintaining the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), W3C is not entirely about accessibility. W3C is neither a function nor a software so it’s really weird to put it as panduan penggunaan W3C (guideline to use W3C).

International Driving Permit & JPJ Portal Joomla

I was looking for information on getting an International Driving Permit when I arrived at the new JPJ Portal. I am not sure if the portal was “developed” by a third party contractor or internally but I have a hunch that says it was built externally.

There may be other Government portals that are built on top of Open Source solutions but JPJ is obviously using Joomla. What’s worst is that the keywords used in the portal are insanely irrelevant. Obviously MP3 is not at all related to Road Transport Department!

I am not saying that it is wrong to use Open Source projects to cater for Government sites but I think if this project is external, JPJ is getting ripped off.

Changing topic to the International Driving Permit, it’s easy to get one. All you need is a passport sized photo, copy of your NRIC, copy of your driving license, and RM150. Your driving license must be valid for at least 1 year after the date of IDP application. This is also a rip off since in return I get a hand-written card with some thin paper pages in it with a few languages. I would feel ashamed to show it to the cops if I were stopped by them in a foreign country. Seriously.

A friend of mine mentioned that you don’t need an IDP if you are staying less than 3 months in the United States. I tried to find information on that but to no avail. Anyone?

Another Reason Not To Host In Malaysia

Would you register your blog if the Government ask you to? Although I rarely write about any sensitive issues related to the Government, I have to express myself on this one.

So now Malaysian Government is planning to make it compulsory for bloggers to register themselves. Here is an article from The Star: Bloggers may have to register

According to another this news in The Star Online, “… plan to register all bloggers using locally hosted websites …”. If this is true, I am not related anymore since I moved out from Malaysia hosting. So was my decision to move from Exabytes the correct decision to make?

We have to wait for the official announcement from the Government.

My opinion is that this is entirely not necessary. From what I see now the Government is creating another enemy, instead of embracing bloggers for a better country. Why can’t the Government take it as a challenge to make things better, or even take it as the voice of the people living in this country? There must always be a reason why people talk about bad about the Government, not only in Malaysia. A Malay proverb: Kalau tak ada angin takkan pokok bergoyang which means exactly that.

And really, this is the classic case of kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga (because of one bad thing/person the entire group receives bad reputation).

So after this there should not be any question anymore why Malaysians do not host their website within the country. Not that the service is good anyway.

As usual I include the original news below in case the original article is no longer available.

Continue reading Another Reason Not To Host In Malaysia

Malaysia OSS Master Plan Gets Truncated

As I thought. When the Government declared that they will favor open source for their IT needs I was thinking whether they have thoroughly analyzed their plan. What I can clearly see is that all they understand is the word FREE. No more, no less.

It was published on The Star Online on 5 December that the OSS Master Plan Gets Pruned. Indeed, they can’t simply disable or abort the plan so they removed a sentence. Originally it states:

OSS procurement should be based on merits, value for money, transparency, security and interoperability, as well as in accordance with the Government procurement policies and procedures. In situations where the advantages and disadvantages of OSS and proprietary software are equal, preference shall be given to OSS.

Now that the second line has been removed:

OSS procurement should be based on merits, value for money, transparency, security and interoperability, as well as in accordance with the Government procurement policies and procedures.

This effectively imply a new policy: neutrality.

As OSS is no longer preferred, the master plan is now useless. Very rarely OSS software can market themselves, and proprietary software have the big guns who can do marketing and sales for them.

The new sentence can also be applied to proprietary software, don’t you think? The sentence is there just to ensure existence of the master plan which is now obsolete.

Update: JAKIM is Hosting PayPal Phishing Site?!

Today I received an email from JAKIM (baheis/JAKIM [at] JAKIM.islam.gov.my) that redirected me to this site:

Aduan Jakim

Well done. Despite of what happened I am quite pleased and proud of their immediate action (3 days is immediate for government bodies, give them a break). First time I’ve ever seen an email address with slash (/) though. Hey they incorrectly spelled my name! 😐

Er.. why do we have to use IE to view the page? Direct translation to the highlighted item: This form must be viewed with IE 😉 It looks fine on my Firefox, though.

Aduan Jakim 2

JAKIM is Hosting PayPal Phishing Site?!

I visited some other blog today and read a fresh post about JAKIM site hosting a Paypal Phishing site.

Try yourself and go to http://www.islam.gov.my/online/cgi/. You’ll see this:

paypaljakim.PNG

And if you get to http://www.islam.gov.my/online/cgi/webscr_cmd=_login-run/primapagina.htm (I suggest you only go there if you know what you are doing) you’ll see this: http://www.phishtank.com/… which really looks like the main page of PayPal. Careless users or users who does not really care about what the address bar displays might log in to the site, effectively giving their username and password to someone else.

During this testing I also found out that my Firefox is able to identify and warn me that the site is a phishing site:

Firefox Phishing Detection. Bravo!

I am trying to inform the JAKIM about this so that necessary actions can be taken. I’ve also contacted NISER. This is indeed an embarassing incident 🙁

Update 09 Oct 2006:

It seems that they have removed the phishing pages. Very good and quick action.

jakim-update.jpg

I’ve received no respond from them or NISER, though.

Police on Phone While Driving

21-Mar-2006: Back from lunch at McDonalds’ Equine Park. Thanks to Azidin for the capture. Great shot from a moving car!

Well, the police officer probably gave himself a ticket when he reached the police station.

Police on the phone while driving
(Click here or the picture for a larger view)

I was quite busy for the last few weeks – my dayjob office is moving to smaller units. I will probably continue writing when things return to normal.

PM: We have to sacrifice

The title should say “PM: Malaysian citizens have to sacrifice”.

Quoting from what he has to say:

“Those riding motorcycles and driving small cars dont really enjoy the subsidy as their vehicles dont consume a lot of fuel,” he said.

Is this reverse psychology or something? In fact: Those riding motorcycles and driving small cars don’t enjoy the subsidy but will be burdened if there’s no subsidy.

Asked whether he was aware that the public had voiced their unhappiness over the price increase, Abdullah replied: “Who will be happy when prices of things go up.

Who will? Who will? Consumers aren’t happy. Only Government people will be happy as they are involved in businesses and make more money out of the fuel price increase.

Let’s analyse the situation. Take into example my Perodua Kelisa, the full tank is approximately 27 litres. With the old prices it costs RM43.74, and with the new price it costs RM51.84. That’s a RM8.10 difference!

For people driving big cars, they might face a raise of about RM20-RM50 but of course, they have a lot of money. RM8 is more than my cost of lunch, and for some people it’s lunch + dinner!

And where will the RM4.4bil go? To the Government officials’ (and the cronies) pockets? And with the unemployment rate skyrocketing I don’t know what these people are thinking. A cool fact I learnt last week: In Germany they pay 1000 Euros per month to unemployed graduates, to help them look for a job. Will the Malaysian Government do that?

Oh Pak Lah, I’ve lost my faith in you.

Original news: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/3/1/nation/13537510&sec=nation

By ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD

KUALA LUMPUR: The estimated annual saving of RM4.4bil in fuel subsidy will be spent to improve the public transport system, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

He said it was not the Governments intention to burden the people when it increased the price of fuel.

“The money that we save from the subsidy will be returned to the rakyat in the form of a better public transport system,” he told a press conference after a briefing at Bank Negara here yesterday.

“The cost to improve the system is high, and now we have the money to improve it.”

p4zeti.jpg
IN THE PEOPLES INTEREST: Abdullah stressing a point on the fuel price rise at a press conference after a briefing at Bank Negara yesterday. With him is Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz.

The prime minister said it was a small sacrifice by the rakyat for a better facility.

The price of petrol and diesel went up by 30 sen a litre yesterday. The Prime Minister reiterated that this would be the only fuel price rise for the year.

“There will be no more increase until December. For 2007, I will not speculate,” he said.

Abdullah also said that in reality, the fuel subsidy only benefited those who drove cars with bigger engine capacities.

“Those riding motorcycles and driving small cars dont really enjoy the subsidy as their vehicles dont consume a lot of fuel,” he said.

Asked why the fuel price increase was not made gradually, Abdullah said that doing so would only create more problems.

“Doing it bit by bit is more difficult because the prices of other goods would increase more often,” he said.

“It is better to increase it once and if prices of other things need to be increased, too, it will also happen once.”

On why the profit made by Petronas was not being used to absorb the price increase, Abdullah said the companys contribution to the country was in other forms, such as tax and royalty.

Asked whether he was aware that the public had voiced their unhappiness over the price increase, Abdullah replied: “Who will be happy when prices of things go up.

“But we did not take away all (the subsidy). If we did that, the price of the fuel would be much higher, maybe in the region of RM2.50 a litre.”

Microsoft revamps blogging policy

Remember what happened to Chinese blogger Zhao Jing? His blog was closed down by Microsoft. Following that decision, many parties were outraged. So Microsoft decided to revamp its blogging policy.

News Story by Jeremy Kirk

JANUARY 31, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) – LISBON — In the face of outrage from many of its own employees over its abrupt censoring of a Chinese blogger, Microsoft Corp. has formulated a new policy to deal with requests from a government that alleges that posted material violates its laws.

From what I understand, this policy will be enforced if the government of the country reports something to Microsoft.

Microsoft is readying technology that will allow the blocking of blogs just within a specific country, Smith said. “We will act when we have the legal duty to do so,” he said. “We will act when we are given the kind of notice that clearly makes that duty binding upon us.”

Also, Google is now involved:

Google Inc. this week was planning to launch a new search service in China that censors some results considered inappropriate by the government. The service, however, will tell users some results have been blocked because of their politically sensitive nature.

I have no direct opinion on this. I think there are advantages and disadvantages of this decision (to bloggers, of course). Anyway I think (and hope it stays that way) that Microsoft can only block MSN Spaces, while Google can only block their Blogger service.

Original news: http://computerworld.com/developmenttopics/development/webservices/story/…

Maybe what these companies are doing is the right thing after all. Maybe China needs closure and protection from the outside world. Some people might say that freedom is the best choice for China, but of course most people are talking out of their asses. Look what happened to Iraq? They removed the military leader and now the country is in chaos. Or again, maybe not. We shall see what’ll happen next. Ooopps.. political 😉

Related news: Outrageous Outrage, Boycott Google Now, Google to launch censored results in China

999 Emergency Number

Last night my neighbor’s house alarm was triggered multiple times. At 4.00am I was concerned on what happened as there’s no one at the house – they went somewhere for Chinese New Year. I called the emergency line 999 to report this, as I don’t dare to check it out myself.

Guess what? No answer. The phone was ringing but there was no answer. Imagine a real emergency such as fire is happening…

Oh well… nothing much left to say. Go figure.

Beijing’s New Enforcer: Microsoft

From the New York Times:

Microsoft has silenced a well-known blogger in China for committing journalism. At the Chinese government’s request, the company closed the blog of Zhao Jing on Dec. 30 after he criticized the government’s firing of editors at a progressive newspaper. Microsoft, which also acknowledges that its MSN Internet portal in China censors searches and blogs, is far from alone. Recently Yahoo admitted that it had helped China sentence a dissident to 10 years in prison by identifying him as the sender of a banned e-mail message.

Original news here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/17/opinion/17tue2.html…

(As usual a copy of the original news is available when you click on more).

I hope Malaysian government will not see Microsoft as an Internet authority. But it is a scary thought, as only recently we can see Malaysians maximizing utilization of the Internet. (And some government officials still doesn’t know how to use e-mail or worst even scared to touch the mouse). I still remember 8 years ago when people only knows how to use mIRC and play games on their PCs. Well, probably still. I read somewhere that on X% of Malaysians have broadbands at their homes. YES!! Single digit. 🙁

Oh well, I can still remember some people being so amazed when I played MP3 on my notebook. Yes, there exists people like that even now, in the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Continue reading Beijing’s New Enforcer: Microsoft

More shocking findings

http://www.cyberjaya.com.my/

ccc.png

~$ dig MX cyberjaya-ccc.com.my @202.188.0.133

; DiG 9.3.1 MX cyberjaya-ccc.com.my @202.188.0.133
; (1 server found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 59650
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;cyberjaya-ccc.com.my.          IN      MX

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
com.my.                 398     IN      SOA     dns1.mynic.net.my. hostmaster.mynic.net.my. 2005291016 1800 1800 604800 86400

;; Query time: 40 msec
;; SERVER: 202.188.0.133#53(202.188.0.133)
;; WHEN: Tue Oct 18 04:55:15 2005
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 100

The mail server is defined at City Broadband DNS:

~$ dig MX cyberjaya-ccc.com.my @202.168.64.3

; DiG 9.3.1 MX cyberjaya-ccc.com.my @202.168.64.3
; (1 server found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 47934
;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 2

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;cyberjaya-ccc.com.my.          IN      MX

;; ANSWER SECTION:
cyberjaya-ccc.com.my.   38400   IN      MX      10 mail.cyberjaya-ccc.com.my.

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
cyberjaya-ccc.com.my.   38400   IN      NS      muar.shtech.net.my.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
mail.cyberjaya-ccc.com.my. 38400 IN     A       202.168.65.8
muar.shtech.net.my.     38400   IN      A       202.168.64.3

;; Query time: 92 msec
;; SERVER: 202.168.64.3#53(202.168.64.3)
;; WHEN: Tue Oct 18 04:55:11 2005
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 121 

The rest of the world does not see this… hmmmmmm? There’s no IN SOA section for cyberjaya-ccc.com.my. How do I let them know? Calling them wouldn’t do it as they have non-technical imbecile answering the phone. 🙁

Oh! no wonder: Cyberjaya City Command Centre (A Unit of Majlis Perbandaran Sepang).

Public sector! 

Nov 2 will not be a public holiday

Well it looks like 2nd November will not be a public holiday. Many were expecting this.

Excerpt from The Star:

"KUALA LUMPUR: The Government does not plan to declare Nov 2 a public holiday. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it would be too costly for the private sector to pay their employees to work on that day."

Read the original news here

Excerpt from Utusan Malaysia Online:

"Sementara itu, Presiden Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Agensi Pekerjaan Swasta Malaysia, Datuk Baharom Abdul Ghani berkata, rakyat negara ini tidak sepatut hanya berfikir tentang cuti umum yang kini terlampau banyak.

Beliau berkata, kakitangan yang terpaksa kerja pada hari tersebut perlu melaksanakan tanggungjawab mereka bagi memastikan sistem penyampaian terlaksana.

“Saya tidak setuju (berikan cuti umum) kerana kerajaan telah melaksanakan kerja lima hari seminggu, kalau asyik cuti umum bila hendak fikir fasal kerja.

Gaji pula hendak 13 bulan setahun, cuti tahun banyak ambil, tidak payah lagi cuti umum,” katanya."

Read the original news here

The bold text is the best part. 😉 Translation: When it comes to salary you demand 13 months per year, no need to add more public holidays.

Very pedas indeed. It’s true. Government servants have enjoyed 13 month’s worth of salary per year and yet they failed to provide better service to the public. If you don’t like a private service, you can stop using them. But this case, you’ll still have to pay tax. Hmm…

Zakat!

Nowadays, there’s a lot of programmes in TV showing how poor citizens suffer. I wonder what the government have been doing with the BaitulMal money?

Here’s the total collection for September, taken from the Pusat Pungutan Zakat Wilayah Persekutuan website: 

zakat-wilayah-sept.png 

Hmmm… 8 million. Maybe PPZ officers need to go out, and not just rely on applications from poor citizens. Sometimes the old ladies taking care of 7 grandchildrens are not educated at all to know that such funds exist.