INDONESIA & MALAYSIA Should Be Friends

Another hot issue in South East Asia, and a sad one. The issue of ownership between Indonesia and Malaysia.

We have seen so many events happening in Indonesia that reflects the hatred of some Indonesian people towards Malaysia. Burning of the Malaysian flag, “sweeping” of Malaysians from the streets of Jakarta, and the “GANYANG MALAYSIA” campaign, just to mention some.

As a Malaysia citizen I am deeply saddened by these events, but it hurts even more as I am half Bugis (ethnic groups of South Sulawesi in Indonesia). Why can’t we all just get along?

The issues that are being brought up are merely nuisance to the world, such as Jemur Island being listed as a Malaysian island in the Internet, and the Pendet dance featured in the Enigmatic Malaysia footage by KRU Studios. Even if Jemur island is mistakenly listed as a Malaysian island I don’t think money will flow into Malaysia if tourists visit it. I should add that the websites are not even Malaysian websites so how can we say that Malaysia claims the island as its own?

Let’s see who owns traveljournals.net:

Domain name: traveljournals.net

Registrant Contact:
Nea Internet
Andreas Sjolin ()

Fax:
Vegagatan 22
Sundbyberg, 17234
SE

For other cultural claims, hey, as we all know Malaysia have so many Indonesian-based ethnicities including Java, Banjar (Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia), Bugis (ethnic groups of South Sulawesi in Indonesia), Boyan (Bawean Island), and many other smaller ethnicities. When people migrate they take along their culture. This, of course not taking into consideration the pure Indonesian citizens who are currently making a living in Malaysia.

In many of the issues being considered, the cultural factors are not even claimed as owned by Malaysia but merely displaying the availability of such culture in Malaysia. If Waroeng Penyet at The Curve decides to venture into a promotional video would it be an issue since the food is obviously Indonesian? The owners are respected Indonesian business people.

When the Western world creates promotional videos showing China Town in their cities, does the China government or the people of China went into distress and creates a riot? No, because they are proud that their culture has traveled the world. For the record, I am proud too as I am 50% Bugis and 50% Chinese.

Malaysians love Indonesia culture, and are very comfortable with it because we all came from the same origin. A few of my friends visited Bandung many times (separate families), and enjoyed it very much. (I want to include links to their blog posts about their Bandung visits but maybe later as I need permission to do so). That is money flow into Indonesia! It’s a classic case of “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery”. Can’t we share?

So what are these people thinking? They are hurting Indonesia more by causing havoc, as tourists will definitely be afraid to visit. I know, their views might not be shared by every Indonesian but it’s a disgrace to both countries. These are the same people who called their own President cowards. I personally view them as extremists, same as the religion extremists of the Middle East. Nothing extreme is good.

To Malaysians, please be civilized and not to do anything stupid. Does not mean that you can’t argue, but do it nicely so that we all can be good friends someday.

I am closing comments, as I don’t need any. I just know both countries should get along and be friends. I like tempe.

Economy Crisis Hits Malaysia

For the last couple of months I realized that the world economy is heading downwards. Europe and America have had their worst moments, Asia had a taste but Malaysia didn’t really feel anything. To be really honest the first sign I saw was last week when they announced that around 100K people in the manufacturing industry was going to lose their jobs. Maybe I was ignorant enough that I didn’t realize of other related events happening in this country.

Even when that happened, it still has not touched my comfort level. Although I am working in an American company I trust the brand and the business nature enough. I was living my dreams, praying that nothing bad would ever happen.

On Wednesday the morning peace in my office was broken by a rumor that a team is going to be closed and the product they maintain is going to be discontinued. And to think that this was the team I tried to penetrate back in 2007 I was selfish enough to think that I am lucky that I didn’t really join them. At least 6 people left the building in disbelief (exaggeration). Of course they get some kind of compensation but I am not going to talk about it here.

The main reason that made this event scary and were able to shake my comfort wall (not only me!) is the fact that there was no sign, no hint, nothing. It was a sudden move. I have not had the chance to talk to one of them yet but I think they was not warned. Were they?

There is no secure place except if you work with a Government Linked Companies or are a Public Servant. I would like to hear from these people, whether or not they worry about their jobs?

Good luck ex-TRAK I hope you will find better Ruby jobs! We will certainly miss you.

The US Boycott Dilemma

Since Israel started to attack Gaza many parts of the world has started to organize events such as demonstration and peaceful gatherings to voice out against Israel actions, and as usual the ally – United States of America. WARNING: The fact that I am currently serving an American company might cause me to be biased and clouds my judgment.

The biggest countrywide boycott was launched against 3 major brands: Colgate (toothpaste), Coca-Cola (carbonated beverage), and Starbucks (coffee chain).

To be really honest, the first thing that crossed my mind was that whether boycotting these brands (and other brands of US origin) will be beneficial towards the objective. And my first concern was that what will happen to Malaysians who are working for these giants. Since the topic here is related directly to Islam, I am wondering how many brothers and sisters of Islam would be suffering from the loss of job that may be caused by the boycott activity. Would the effect of the boycott to the US is significant enough for us to jeopardize the life of those people we call brothers and sisters?

Don’t answer that! I don’t want to know what you think — I was just thinking aloud and asking myself.

Not surprising to me, the list is long. Major popular brands (for the mass public not only the rich and famous) in Malaysia includes KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Huggies, Maggi, Nestle, IBM, Nokia, The Sun and countless others. And I am not even sure whether sales drop in Malaysia will have any effect for those in the States — maybe they are only collecting license fees, who knows?

If any of them are only collecting license fees and the licensee in Malaysia is not doing well I don’t reckon they will give any kind of discount to the failing company. Will they go bankrupt? Fat chance. Will the license holder in Malaysia go bankrupt? Probably. How many jobs will be affected? Plenty.

I am not saying whether the boycott is correct or wrong — I am simply saying my concern for others and one day maybe myself.

The American government is doing something we don’t like, do we punish the people? Some Americans are against the US Army invasion in Iraq and the US-Israel alliance.

One thing I am sure about, I have already been boycotting Fotopages for a couple of years now. Fotopages is owned by an Israeli company called Pidgin Technologies, based in Tel Aviv. It is a pure product of Israel. Most shocking to me is that there are more than 58,000 users registered from Malaysia. Malaysia is the winner with the most users. User count from Israel is merely around 700. Some people asked me how this company would make money when the service is free?

It’s actually very simple — from traffic. The traffic generated from users browsing the photos will cause the site ranks to increase, and in turn the advertisement revenue will also be significant. The conclusion is simple: By using Fotopages to share your photos you help fund the Israel economy and in the end the attacks against Palestine. If you really want to join the fight against Israel you should start telling your friends and deactivate your account at Fotopages. Your old photos do generate traffic from the search engines. —

SpongeBob SquarePants

I have been working from home for almost a month now, and to cope with loneliness from the lack of company and with the noise produced by the work next door I always have my TV turned on while working. I used to hear about SpongeBob and I know what he is but never bothered to watch it. I stumbled upon the cartoon series once in a while at 5.00pm at TV9 (dubbed version) so I decided to watch it. Although I usually hate dubbed versions I have to say that for this series they did it pretty well.

spongebob

And now, I have learned to love Spongebob. If I have nothing important to do at 5pm everyday I will switch on TV9 and watch the yellow little guy with his friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his colleague Squidward Tentacles, his boss Eugene Krabs, his pet Gary the Snail, and the unsuccessful rival of Eugene Krabs’ – Sheldon Plankton.

SpongeBob cartoon series is fun to watch, as the funny elements are intelligent enough in contrary to some cartoons (local and international).

And yes, in history it will be known that my first post for 2009 is about SpongeBob. SpongeBob is my hero, he made me laugh and this suppresses my desire to commit any kind of crime.

Spongebob names in other languages:

  • Спондж Боб (Spondzh Bob) (Bulgarian)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Danish)
  • SpongeBob Schwammkopf (German)
  • Μπομπ Σφουγγαράκης Τετραγωνοπαντελονής (Mpomp Spouggarakhc Tetragonopantelonhc) (Greek)
  • Bob Esponja (Spanish)
  • SpongaBobo (Esperanto)
  • Bob l’éponge (Bob the Sponge) (French)
  • 네모네모 스펀지 송 (Ne-mo Ne-mo Seupeonji Song) (Korean)
  • Svampur Sveinsson (Icelandic)
  • スポンジ・ボブ (SuponjiBobu) (Japanese)
  • SvampeBob Firkant (Norwegian)
  • SpongeBob Kanciastoporty (Polish)
  • Bob Esponja Calça Quadrada (Portuguese)
  • Губка Боб Квадратные Штаны (Gubka Bob Kvadratnye Shtany) or simply “Спанч Боб” (Russian)
  • Paavo Pesusieni (Finnish)
  • SvampBob Fyrkant (Swedish)
  • Sünger Bob (Turkish)
  • 海綿寶寶 (Mian Qiu Fang Kuai) (Mandarin)
  • BobSfoge Michnas Meruba (Hebrew)

So in Malay language he should be “SpanBob SeluarSegiempat” ?

Starbucks Sizing System

I was watching HBO when one of the short sections in between the movies were aired. It was about the new movie “Role Models”. I have always wondered why Starbucks have the sizing system “Tall” (small), “Grande” (medium), and “Venti” (large). It’s plain weird.

Interestingly Danny Donahue (played by Paul Rudd) mentioned this directly in the movie:

LMFAO. “Congratulations, you’re stupid in 3 languages.”

Shutdown Day!

I was casually cruising at a friend’s blog when I saw his post about the Shutdown Day. It’s just a simple experiment to see how many people in this world can live a day without their PC.

I joined the site, and will definitely turn off all of my notebooks on that day. My servers will remain online, of course 😉 but I will not be accessing them.

Interested? Please go to http://shutdownday.org

Oh yes, on that day I have not much problem because I will be celebrating my birthday! I have also received two early birthday present from my better half. One in the news contained in the previous post, and the other one is a secret I will only reveal when I am better at playing it.

MasterCard/Visa Promotion Fraud Attempt

What great way to start 2008 with a pile of money obtained from other people’s credit cards? I am writing to share my experience today.

I am lucky I am not that stupid although I didn’t realize an obvious bit earlier during the call. By the way the call came is as “Private”

Caller: Is this Mr. Ady Romantika?
Me: Speaking.
Caller: My name is XXXX from MasterCard and Visa customer support. You have been selected to receive a discount card for purchases using your MasterCard and Visa. You will receive up to 30% of discount. The reason we do this is to help make sure our good customers will not be burdened by credit card debts.
Me: I am lucky so please send the discount card to my house. What do you need?
Caller: We need to verify your details
Me: OK, shoot.
Caller: Which bank’s credit card do you use? (At this point I started to be suspicious)
Me: Bank A, Bank B, and Bank C
Caller: Can you give me the expiry dates of each card?
Me: XXYY, XXYY, XXYY (I was dumb)
Caller: OK can you tell me each card is Visa or MasterCard?
Me: MasterCard, Visa, MasterCard.
Caller: OK. For the Bank B card, it starts with XXXX right?
Me: Yes.
Caller: The next number is Y, right? What’s the next number, A or B?
Me: A (I know, dumb again)
Caller: And then? (At this moment I know she is going to ask me the whole credit card number)
Me: Right, so I can’t even authenticate you and you expect me to give me my whole credit card number. Next you’re going to ask me my 3 digit CV2 code?
… She hung up …

You see, even though the caller did know the first digit of my credit card number it does not prove anything. The prefix number of Visa is always 4, and the next 4 digits is assigned to the financial institution issuing the card. It’s no mystery.

In this case I should have realized that she is a fraud when she said she’s from Visa & MasterCard customer support. Those 2 are different organizations, so it’s not logical they share the same customer support.

Notice how she tried to be as technical, procedural, and as patient as possible to get me convinced.

I hope that I didn’t go too far by providing bank names and expiry dates! If anyone from Maxis (my provider) is reading this and is interested to track the call (if possible) I am more than willing to help. Maybe in the telco side private numbers are recorded? And since all phones should be registered it should not be that difficult to lodge a police report?

This kind of people deserves to be awarded some free years at the “big mansion”. Be careful people!!!

Would You Return A Cellphone Found In The Streets?

I received my copy of the August 2007 edition of Reader’s Digest yesterday and IMHO it is the most interesting edition for me since I started my subscription about a year ago.

I ain’t gonna talk about all of the articles this time, but one of them. RD made an experiment where they sent their reporters to 32 cities in the world and in each of the city they left 30 mid-priced cellphones all over the place – to see how citizens react when they found it.

The article interestingly started with BK Low, a businessman who “found” a cellphone outside of a bank and immediately popped his head inside the bank and asked if anyone has accidentally left it outside. The article described many other instances where interestingly enough, people in the richest cities kept the found cellphones to themselves, while a homeless man in Budapest handed it over to a newsstand operator to be returned to the rightful owner.

However the total statistics reveal that more than 60% of the 960 cellphones were returned – which is quite a comforting figure. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have the same score with Hong Kong where only a little over 40% of the cellphones were returned – this is the lowest score among all of the selected cities which is quite disappointing for me although I expected that 🙂 From this experiment we can still be assured that in this world there is still some honesty left in more than half of earthlings.

It is also amazing how the power of persuasion can let some parents let their kids keep the found cellphone. Grab yourself a copy at the newsstand or the library and read all about it.

What would you do if you found a cellphone in the streets? Would you keep it?

Global Warming Effects Geeks Too

In the area where I live (and work) it has been so hot for quite while now. Since I am working in an air-conditioned office at work and in my home office I did not really realize how seriously the heat has become until I received multiple alerts from my SMART monitoring software.

Seagate disks have an extra SMART attribute BE, which means the number of °Celcius before the temperature of the drive reaches 100 (boiling point). The threshold is set to 45 by Seagate, which means that if BE value reaches 45 it is bad for the drive. This attribute balances with C2 (temperature). For example if the drive temperature is 40, C2 will read 40 and BE will read 60. This means that it takes 60 °Celcius more before I can boil water with the hard drive.

My Seagate Momentus has been reaching 55° Celcius for quite a while, and this means that the special attribute reading is now 45 – SMART failure. I am not too worried but I did get myself a notebook cooling pad.

SMART Failure

To make things worst, on Saturday night after a fun night with a bunch of close friends celebrating my birthday, the 2 drives connected at the primary channel on my development PCs started to have problems. This is based on logs as I went to sleep after reaching home that night. It was on Sunday morning I realized what have happened.

After some testing I found that the IDE cable was at fault. Pheww! Luckily not the disks! So I got myself some new IDE cables and now it’s running fine. This is what happen when the kernel can’t write to the disks:

crazyload.jpg

The processes keeps on hanging there waiting for their turn to write. I am however not very sure that heat can damage IDE cables as I have never heard of this being mentioned anywhere before.

Now I am in the process of scratching my head thinking on what to do to cope with this heat problem at my home office. Any ideas?

One Day Blog Silence

On April 30th 2007, the Blogosphere will hold a One-Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech. 32 innocent people died at the US college massacre.

One Day Blog Silence

I support this as a human, and since it has got nothing to do with religion, politics (hope not!) or anything else. Massacres are bad. I pray that it would never occur again anywhere in the world.

Can someone suggest to Ted to suggest the same for PPP and the posties? 🙂

Hi Metallica, I am Megadeth

Listening to Hitz.fm this morning on my way to work, heard a news that a couple in Sweden wants to name their daughter Metallica (and the authority does not allow them to).

Searched the Net and found some news:

Apparently they are trying to combine their 2 first names and came out with Metallica.

If they have a boy later they may name him Sandman? 😉

Although I am a fan of Metallica I really don’t think that the name is suitable for a girl. Just as weird as my name is, I still remember a teacher laughed and said when I am a old grandpa people will think that I have lost my mind if I tell them my real name.

Right, granny Metallica?

Credit Card Guide

As an expert in spending, and in building up debt with credit cards, I must say that this site Ive stumbled upon is very informative.

There are many articles, for example how to make money using your credit cards, and guide to do a balance transfer. On the site, you can also compare credit cards in UK. I realized that the annual interest rate in Malaysia is quite high! Need to apply? Follow the link if youre interested in 0% credit cards.

An interesting thing is in UK, not like in Malaysia, the annual interest rates are different between different card operators. This means that you can have a choice, especially since you can read reviews about credit cards over there.

I have never tried to do a balance transfer for my cards before. Maybe I should start transferring my balance to save on some interests. Also if youre wondering on the difference between MasterCard and Visa, theres an article about it. It never hurt to increase your knowledge even if you are not interested in credit cards.

I must say though, you must be very careful when using credit cards, as your debt can mount up without you even realizing it. In such cases if you are not sure, such sites as I mentioned above is very useful. You have been warned!

Free KFC For E.T.

I’m not sure whether all of you have ever heard or even knew E.T.? He (it) is an ugly looking creature from a movie when I was a kid.

KFC has recently changed their logo for the 3rd time since it was ever designed. And guess what did they do? They built a massive 87,500 sq ft logo!

KFC From Space

The logo, which are built with 65,000 tiles took 24 days to finish, and is located near Area 51 in Nevada. I’ve tried looking for it in Google Maps but I guess it’s not there yet.

More news can be read here, and here.

Something that I really wanted to know but too lazy to ask:

The late Col Sanders, who died at the age of 90 in 1980, introduced his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe at his own restaurant in 1939. He went on to run a chain of restaurants and developed celebrity status after appearing in his own, “finger-lickin’ good” TV commercials.

Now I know Col Sanders is not a fictional character like Hello Kitty. 😉

Hans Reiser Held for Murder

No, it’s not Hans Reiser the actor, it’s Hans Reiser the creator of ReiserFS. ReiserFS is a journaled computer file system mainly used in Linux.

He was taken into custody 10th October at 10am in Oakland. He is suspected of murdering his wife, Nina Reiser. Nina is currently missing, but the authorities think that she has been murdered.

Hans got into UC Berkeley when he was 15, where he obtained his Bachelors in Systematizing. I hope he didn’t do it. I want Reiser4 in Linux kernel!!

Original news here.

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