Moving Domains to Cloudflare

While clicking around in Cloudflare today, I found this button.

It got me into thinking about what I paid last year for a .com domain and this is what I see when I looked at the order history.

I was surprised to see the difference. At the current exchange rate, Cloudflare will only cost me MYR34.89 (US$8.03 with ICANN fee) for a .com domain, which is a saving of MYR40.33 per domain, per year.

Looking at all domains transferable to Cloudflare, this is what it would cost me if I renew them right now:

If I transfer them to Cloudflare, it will cost me US$60.28 (MYR261.93) per year, which is a saving of US$66.75 (MYR290.07) equivalent to a year of mid-size shared hosting in Malaysia, or a full year of hosting cost with my current cloud provider.

Mind. Blown. 🤯

Cloudflare offers at-cost pricing for registration and renewal of many TLDs, but unfortunately .name is not one of them so I won’t be able to move romantika.name to them. For now.

Sparrow and Shortmail

I’ve been pushing the limits of my mid-2010 13″ MacBook Pro lately, running all sort of applications and leaving them running. There has been occasions where the machine will freeze while it struggles to schedule the CPU time to all of the applications.

I use a lot of email, and by a lot I don’t mean 10 emails per day. No joke. The features of Apple Mail 5.0 are actually enough for my daily use but it does feel a little bit sluggish with 5 IMAP accounts.

Recently, I signed up to Shortmail via my Twitter account. The idea is nice. 500 characters max per email, straight to the point.

While casually browsing through my Twitter stream last night I saw people talking about setting up Sparrow to access Shortmail and sending attachments via Dropbox.

I was thinking, Shortmail is short, Sparrow is light. Combining them together should be nice… and since all of my email accounts are now running via IMAP, why not give Sparrow a try with Shortmail before using it for serious communications.

I downloaded Sparrow through the website to try it out, instead of buying it from the Mac App Store for $9.99

I was pleased that it only asked for my email address and password so I entered my Shortmail account details. It was nice. Shortmail’s logo was displayed on the screen. But it took ten minutes to sync my 3 messages. I don’t know what it was doing and I’m not sure whether the waiting time is caused by Shortmail servers or Sparrow itself.

One thing I hate the most is how markup is displayed in the preview lines in Sparrow. It’s not in Facebook’s email but markup are there for the first 2 emails.

I can understand if there are glitches in Shortmail as it’s still fresh but I don’t expect glitches from Sparrow. I wonder how long it would take for it to sync my gigs of emails from other email accounts. I can’t even imagine and I can’t afford to waste so much time.

Looks likes it’s going to be a while before I am convinced to try Sparrow again. I am glad I didn’t rush to buy the app for $9.99 in the Mac App Store. For now, I’m leaving it to AppZapper to cleanup!

Update 16 December 2011 11:15 AM GMT+8

Less than an hour ago, I received a shortmail from Shortmail telling me that they are working on a new version of their IMAP service that should make a difference. This is great news for those who prefer using Shortmail service via regular email clients. From @Shortmail‘s timeline I can see that they are responding to many users about improving the IMAP service.

Keep up the good work! By the way, my Shortmail address is romantikaname [at] shortmail [dot] com

Thanks for the shortmail! This is nice, and it shows that you are serious about what you do!

For the record, I was more disappointed with Sparrow displaying ugly markup on the preview pane.

Google Authenticator Rocks

OK, “Google Authenticator” is actually the name of the smartphone apps provided by Google. What is it all about? It’s two factor authentication similar to the ones banks use to authenticate users to log in or to perform transactions. Corporate users might also have the same security method using smart card or RSA SecurID to log in to machines or connect to VPN.

The basic idea is simple, you will need your password and the code provided by the apps so that if your password is compromised the malicious user will not be able to log into your account. Plus, you’ll always have your phone with you so you will have this code when you need it.

Here’s how the app looks like on the iPhone:

The code changes in a few seconds (there’s a timer pie on the left that moves to show how long will the code will stay).

This 6 digit code, will be asked when you log in to Google services from the web browser. Don’t worry it will not be every time if you select it to remember trusted machines. It’ll be remembered for 30 days and after that I think it will be asked again (I have just started using it today so I am just guessing the behavior).

Before you Begin

If you use Google services in various places such as in mobile applications (e.g. Google Mobile App), desktop applications (e.g. Google Talk), and other places where two factor verifications aren’t coded yet, you will need some time to set up application specific passwords for each of them so that they will still work. More on this below.

How To Start

It’s easy to activate. One will need to navigate to https://www.google.com/accounts/SmSAuthconfig and follow the on screen instruction.

Official step by step instruction from Google is available here.

It’s a very simple and quick process. Once activated, all other applications not using two factor authentication will automatically be denied access (login fails) and they need to use the application specific password discussed below.

What if I lose my smart phone?

Google thought of everything. Upon signing up, you will be receiving 10 emergency codes to keep safe. These codes need to be kept securely, but accessible, for example in your wallet. Each of them can only be used one time.

You’ll also have the option use a backup phone number for an emergency code to be sent to you via SMS or an automated voice service. Cool eh?

Application Specific Passwords

While setting up two factor authentication takes maybe 2 or 3 minutes, entering application specific passwords may take some time. They each are 12 characters in length. They are used for applications such as Thunderbird, Outlook, mobile mail, GTalk, IM+ mobile app, etc. and the list is endless.

But it’s not that painful, compared to the security it provides (says a paranoid man).

For pictures from other devices (BlackBerry and Android) please head here: TechCrunch: Google Rolls Out Two-Factor Authentication For Everyone. You Should Use It.

So what about you? Are you jumping on the bandwagon? You should. Tell me your experience below.

Malaysian Twitter & Facebook Users Makes Fun of Rais Yatim

You can consider this as an honest and sincere opinion from me, as a Malaysian and a heavy Internet user. Maybe, if Rais reads this it will be much fun.

It’s all because of this news article: Malaysians advised against being immersed in Facebook, Twitter.

In twitter, the tag #yorais has been spreading like mad. The tweets are hysterically funny but too insensitive so I don’t think I should include them here.

In my own opinion, Rais should have not linked any of the online services with religion. In short, he should not have assumed when he has no idea himself.

From the text: “He chided some Malaysians who belittled those who were no savvy of the Facebook and Twitter culture.” it looks like Rais is offended by some people who might have said he’s left behind in technology. What I think he should do, is learn instead of condemning technology.

Admit it, everything has its own disadvantages and advantages. It’s not Facebook that Rais should condemn – it should be the users or more specific Malaysians. There exists fanatics and extremist in every single thing in this world and Facebook is not excluded.

It’s unfair to condemn services just because they were created by Westerners. Blame the users.

Facebook and Twitter has helped a lot of users even Malaysian to publicize their businesses and meet old friends, just to name a few. If you use something correctly it’ll be good, and vice versa.

As a matter of fact I just saw one of my respected businessman being bombarded with bad comments in a fan page named “I hate XXX” just because he made a bad comment about another related profession. Not cool.

I wish that Malaysian ministers would learn more instead of following the traditional way of thinking and assuming – what we all do in our beloved country. Don’t you?

The Star even published the outcome of Rais’ statement: Rais comment has Net users boiling, creates global sensation

rais-facebook-twitter

Importing Your Blog Posts into Facebook “Notes”

I have always find it difficult to find the import link, even when I wanted to change my settings. So here is a quick note for myself and to others who are interested in importing their blog posts into the Facebook notes. There may be a shorter way to access the notes page but I failed to find it. So this is my route to the notes page to import and update my settings.

1. On the top right of any page, hover on “Settings” and click on “Application Settings” in the drop down:

facebook-notes-import-blog-1

2. Click on “Notes”. If you don’t see it change your “Show” settings on the upper right corner. It defaults to frequently used applications.

facebook-notes-import-blog-2

3. When you’re on the “Notes” page you will see a box on the right that looks like the one below. And yes, you click on “Import a blog”.

facebook-notes-import-blog-3

4. The next page you see is where you enter the RSS feed URL to import. Indeed, this tool is using RSS feeds to import blog posts. It’s not a mystery and it makes sense.

facebook-notes-import-blog-4

When you have actually imported a blog, you will see that the “Import a blog” link has changed into “Edit import settings”:

facebook-notes-import-blog-5

And of course:

facebook-notes-import-blog-6

You can also set privacy settings for the notes. Facebook says that your blog post will be imported within 3 hours, and if not you can always report at http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=import_notes.

Facebook is a fun way to share your posts. You can also import from any blog that you are interested in, but the thing is there is a limitation. You can only import 1 blog/feed at a time. However I have a workaround for that, and by looking at my screenshots you might get a clue. The key is to consolidate multiple feeds into 1 to import in Facebook. But that’s for the next article, if I am able to find the time.

Have fun importing your blog!

Remember that this article was written on December 3rd, 2009 and since Facebook evolves very rapidly there will be a point that changes are made to the system and renders this article useless.

Malaysia PayPal Users Can Now Add Local Bank Accounts

My better half told me yesterday that we can now add our local bank accounts in PayPal. It was too good to be true so I decided to check. I went to check my PayPal emails first just in case I missed an announcement. However, I don’t see any. It’s kinda weird that when a new language is available PayPal sends us an email but not for something as important as this?

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Oh well, not a big deal. I am all hyped with this new ability, and am already thinking of ditching my Al-Rajhi account (debit card account used for withdrawals).

Adding a bank account is very easy. On your “My Account” page, click on “Profile” which will reveal a drop down where you select “Add/Edit Bank Account”.

malaysia-paypal-step0

Next, you just enter your details:

Details

Don’t put in the wrong routing code. Always double check. This routing code is also sometimes referred to as the SWIFT code. I am amazed on the considerably long list.

malaysia-paypal-bank-routing-code

And that’s it. The next thing you will see is that it’s listed in your bank account page:

malaysia-paypal-done

Please, be sure that you entered the correct bank name, account number, and routing code. As the fee list suggests, you will be charged RM15 for every rejected transaction:

malaysia-paypal-fees

You’ll be charged RM3.00 for amounts less than RM400, free otherwise. I think it does not get any clearer than this.

Enjoy your new ability! It does not involve in eating brains this time.

Is 5GB Per Month Enough? Fair Usage Policy

I don’t think so. Last week, I was on leave for the whole week and did some light browsing at home. To avoid contamination with other PCs in my house, I conducted this test while purely tethering on my BlackBerry device. WIFI was turned off.

The only objective is to see how much data I am using per day to browse the Internet – lightly. No streaming, no gmail, no gaming, no real facebooking. Facebooking was done on the lite interface at http://lite.facebook.com.

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

From the simple test I was able to determine that I use around 420MB per day for light browsing. Multiply that by 30 days and I will get 12900MB which is roughly equivalent to 12.6GB!

Now that explains it why at the end of each month my connection is in snail mode because it’s most likely that Maxis is capping my speed because of overuse.

Bear in mind that this is only for 1 computer.

maxis-daily-usage1

I have been starting to miss Streamyx which I used to hate so much. At least they are slow because of the International link and such, not because they intentionally limit my speed. To me, Streamyx’s BitTorrent capping is fair.

Plus, these Telco are changing their packages like changing underwear! (If they do!)

maxis-new-packages

And of course:

maxis-fup

I can’t wait to have Streamyx back. Currently I am limiting browsing at home, so that my better half will not encounter problems doing her business online.

Maxis to bring iPhone 3G to Malaysia on March 20

Really? That short notice? I was casually browsing my Google Reader when I stumbled upon this exciting news. Exciting? Not anymore. I don’t know why but the frustration of waiting has made me less interested in iPhones. The time stamp on the news was like 4 hours before I started this entry. Fresh!

maxis-iphone-3g

Going to into Maxis site there is now a big banner “Be among the first to own an iPhone 3G“. No, Maxis did not do anything wrong and it’s still a great news except that right now there may be hundreds of people in Malaysia using cracked iPhones. Among the first? I don’t think so. It should say “Be among the first to own an official and uncracked iPhone 3G“. Yes that’s me trying to be funny. Ha ha.

If you’re interested you may go here at Maxis’ spanking new iPhone section. Enjoy it. I don’t think I will be getting one anytime soon.

Be Careful With OpenID

No, there is nothing wrong with OpenID, and there is nothing to worry about security or privacy. Giant players like Yahoo! and Google has also been implementing OpenID for quite some time.

I lost my account at Stack Overflow because I was using WordPress.com as an OpenID. Well, I lost it for about a day because the nice people at Stack Overflow was nice enough to help me merge my previous account and a new account I just created.

What happened? I used OpenID without a full understanding on how it works. I used my WordPress.com URL http://romantika.wordpress.com which I used as a placeholder back then to get an API key for Akismet. What WordPress does is embed the OpenID endpoints into each of the blog URL. For example:

<link rel='openid.server' href='http://romantika.wordpress.com/?openidserver=1' />
<link rel='openid.delegate' href='http://romantika.wordpress.com/' />

One important thing that you need to realize is that once you deleted a blog URL in WordPress.com, you will never get it back and a page saying that the blog has been deleted will be displayed. I deleted my WordPress.com blog to prevent it from becoming an eyesore, and to avoid redundancy. Little did I know that my OpenID vanishes along with the blog.

I would not have lost my Stack Overflow account if I realized earlier that they already allow multiple OpenIDs. So if one OpenID provider vanishes, I can use the alternatives and not bug the guys at Stack Overflow. Although, they did mention:

Accounts are keyed on unique OpenID strings, so if by some accident you end up with multiple accounts, or a “new” registered account you don’t want — don’t fret! It is super easy for us to merge any two (or more) Stack Overflow accounts. Just email us at [email protected] with the user IDs or the user page URLs. We’ll merge them for you no problem.

For my next projects, if I include OpenID support I will definitely follow the steps of Stack Overflow by allowing multiple OpenIDs to be attached to one account.

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1.0

While doing some work I accidentally saw that there is an update available for VirtualBox. I was still using version 1 so I decided to download it and test it out myself. In older versions running on Windows I often get corrupted OS images after an upgrade. Not anymore. My CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu virtual machines booted fine and faster.

Also, the host interface is now automatically bridged so there is no need for manual bridge setup at the OS level anymore. I don’t really have time to investigate further but I was shocked to see the battery meter inside the Ubuntu virtual machine was gauging the correct battery level. How cool is that?

And here’s the meter while charging.

The accuracy is amazing. There must be some kind of hardware interfacing between the host and guest OS provided by the new VirtualBox.

New Maybank2u Sucks

Yesterday I was trying to pay my overdue house rental that I have forgotten to pay because of the Hari Raya holidays (sorry landlord!). When I load Maybank2u it was fine at a glance, and the new design looks super cool!

However when I tried to login and use the functions I was disappointed. Logging in takes ages, and the pages seems to time out a lot. With the nice design, a simple addition of an AJAX loading image makes the site looks like an AJAX application. It’s most certainly not – Firebug helped me confirm. And for whatever reason the AJAX loading image is displayed on top of text. Go figure.

While navigating through the site I received errors multiple time, at at one time while loading it logged me out because the session has expired.

Yes, I am complaining because I am a regular user of Maybank2u. Please do something?

[UPDATE] Maybank2u has disabled the new interface. Now when you click on the login button you’ll be brought to its old interface. Thanks for that.

Google Chrome: More Findings

Actually, if you really watch the 52-minutes video or read the whole manual you might already know about these cool features. And then again maybe not. I didn’t have the time to go thorough with the documents / videos so I am just documenting based on casual use.

One of most obvious feature would be the “Inspect element” contextual menu. As a Firebug user this screen is no stranger to me.

I have not figured out whether Chrome can display real time resources such as JavaScripts and CSS loading like what Firebug does in its “Net” panel.

Another interesting feature I just discovered is the “Open link in incognito window” contextual menu that will appear every time a right click is done on a link.
Continue reading Google Chrome: More Findings

Google Chrome: My Findings So Far

Like Rizal, I was also thrilled to try out Google Chrome when I saw the posts in nazham.com and dirn.name.

I am simply discussing my initial findings, and we all know it’s Beta. This is by no means an official or detailed review. This is what I have encountered so far while using it casually.
Continue reading Google Chrome: My Findings So Far

Telephone Harassment

Prepaid SIM cards are convenient, and there is no doubt that a lot of people in this planet have gained great benefit from them. Some countries have imposed a law that all prepaid SIM cards must be registered to the telco so that they (the authorities) can track down criminals and people who are misusing this service.

But how far does it get implemented? For example I have a DiGi prepaid number with the previous owner still registered to it. When I call customer support, they call me by the person’s name. But that’s a small matter because I am not a bad person.

What pisses me off lately is people calling me to advertise their services and products, as well as fraudulent text messages with the intention of tricking people to subscribe to their services. One amazing thing is that about 90% of them are not even afraid to show off their numbers (not having caller ID restricted).

My question is that to who do I report these annoying activities, and do the telcos actually care?

It’s immoral.