May 2003 Archives

The grey and dirty

Get all the grey and dirty news on Malaysian politics and big business. "MGG Pillai":http://www.mggpillai.com/index.php3 is a freelance journalist who has braved some pretty harrowing personal experiences ("including being found guilty in a RM2million libel suit":http://www.iht.com/IHT/TF/00/tf071300.html) in his effort to comment on the Malaysian socio-political nous.

Admittedly, some of his writing has been embellished with flowery language such as the labelling of Tan Sri Vincent Tan as the "super-crony" (funny one, that). But, for me, this adds an appeal to his writing that is obviously missing from a large majority of local journalist.

bq. THE PRIME MINISTER, DATO' SERI MAHATHIR Mohamed, broke official silence at last over Pahang's second casino. He revoked the gaming licence because the concessionaire, his super-crony, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, breached the conditions. "The machines are supposed to be for the club, not for public use", he said. Normally when clubs breach the conditions of the gaming licence, they are charged in court as well. Would this super crony be treated as harshly? If not, why not? Only slot machinese (one-armed bandits) were allowed, so he could recover the cost of the pseudo-French resort built to resemble the French town of Colmer.

Its "a good read":http://www.mggpillai.com/index.php3 if you're looking for one and are interested in the low-down on Malaysia's most burning issues.

Deep shit

If you believe what you read nowadays, the US and Britain are in deep ka-ka. Not only are their nations losing much of their international credibility, but their leaders, Messrs Blair and Bush have been accused of "lying" to wage a war under "false pretenses". Heavy stuff.

Jeff Ooi has "written a comperehensive post":http://www.jeffooi.com/archives/000420.php that is essential reading for anyone interested in the above.

My concern (or, rather, prediction) is: so what if US/UK- Blair/Bush lied? Not anyone is going to do anything about it. Perhaps Blair's government and the Republicans will be voted out next time elections are acalling. But really, that is the ABSOLUTE LIMIT of the repercussions of their actions. No one is going to drag the US or the UK to dock in the UN ("the Security Council is a dismal failure":http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20030501faessay11217/michael-j-glennon/why-the-security-council-failed.html), or pull Blair or Bush in front of the "ICJ":http://www.icj-cij.org/. Even in the pages of history (assuming the adage that history is written by the victors in true) will probably mention their alleged indiscretions as mere blips on the radar.

Let's not delude ourselves with righteous indignation: it doesn't matter that they lied to us. Even if we had known the truth (which as it turns out we did all along), it wouldn't have made a difference. And even now, even when the truth is revealed about how wrong the war was, the difference matters even less.

Macro and micro "rules"

Written in response to Najah's recent post, "Blogospheres":http://www.najahnasseri.org/archives/000613.html

I think "Najah":http://www.najahnasseri.org/ and i share "different rules":http://www.najahnasseri.org/archives/000514.html when it comes to blogging. These rules do not necessarily juxtapose each other, but they are, for most intents and purposes, different.

The rules or "system", if you prefer, that apply to my blogging habits tend to be based around a structure that "may sound exclusionary at first reading":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000479.html. But they aren't really; they're simply a prescription, not an elitist dictate.

Just like when you have a headache. Some doctors give you paracetamol, others will give you something stronger such as ponstan. A pescription is hardly absolute: its just, like everything else, an idea.

Najah, i've noticed, is much more interested in the rules that govern "relationships" between blogs. That's why "she agrees with me":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/cgi-bin/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=479 that embedded links are important (but not necessary) and why interactive tools are vital. She's looking at a set of rules that create, sustain and grow the "blogosphere". Much more macro as compared to my micro perspective.

Starbucks all over

Just like McDonald's are the same all over the world (ok, you can only get vegetarian burgers in India), i'll bet that Starbucks all over look the same too.

Images from "Starbucks in Harvard, USA":http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/insideOutsideStarbucks.

On a side note: would you be interested to view images/pictures of everyday life from other places in the world?

Edit your writing

Just like most others, i'm guilty of this as well: i use 20 words when 5 would have been enough. While this is a nice skill to have if you're into writing 1000 page books, it absolutely SUCKS when you're "writing for the web":http://wdvl.internet.com/Internet/Writing/.

For the traffic conscious

I've written a few posts about how "a website's popularity":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000374.html is a design, rather than a fluke. This is "another technique":http://kalsey.com/2003/05/anatomy_of_a_meme/ i've discovered. Check it out, all you vain bloggers!

bq. If you haven’t already seen it, this site is #2 on Daypop, Popdex, and Blogdex. Since this is my first time with that sort of recognition, I wanted to explain how I got there and what that means for the site. It’s an interesting look at how traffic and memes flow through blogland.

In short, all he did was create "a HTML button maker":http://kalsey.com/tools/buttonmaker/ for a (quite brilliant) "button maker script":http://www.minimalverbosity.com/2003/May/19/buttons.htm. "Viral marketing":http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm took care of the rest.

Morale of the story: the Web rewards those who give unassumingly.

I must have this!

Typing on nothing, having a keyboard that you can take with you anywhere. Enter the "Projection Keyboard":http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/20030524.html#180336. Fudging 'ell!

My sperm

Oh damn, looks like my sperm, according to law of averages if "this report is to believed":http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/05/28/offbeat.looks.study.reut/index.html, isn't all that good. What in the world is "good" sperm anyhows?

Jatuh saham, man, really jatuh saham. :)

Destroying the reasons?

The US has got egg on its face: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that "they can't find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq":http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=12&u=/nm/20030527/ts_nm/iraq_rumsfeld_weapons_dc_1. In a weak excuse, he explained that such weapons could have been destroyed prior to the coalition invasion.

bq. Rumsfeld told the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations think-tank he did not know why Iraq had not used chemical weapons against the invaders as Washington had predicted it would. He said the speed of U.S. advance may have caught Iraq by surprise, but added: "It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them prior to a conflict."

This is kind of a problem ain't it? The US and Britain ("Jack Straw has also admitted Britain can't find any WMD in Iraq":http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/stra-m16.shtml) invaded Iraq because they claimed it possessed banned weapons. Shame. Mainstream US media even has the audacity to say that "not finding any weapons doesn't make the war any less legitimate":http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A37165-2003May9¬Found=true. Double shame. Michael Schrage of the Washington Post has been "suitably chastised":http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/wmd-m17.shtml for such inappropriate claims.

Perhaps, they should have stuck to a reason they could prove, such as the "murder of up to 250,000 people":http://www.macleans.ca/xta-doc2/2003/06/02/World/60280.shtml who lost their lives under Saddam's brutal dictatorship.

Matrix: Reloaded discussion

The best online discussion i've found on the Matrix: Reloaded can be found on "kottke.org":http://www.kottke.org. Fantastic stuff. "285 comments and growing daily":http://www.kottke.org/03/05/030515the_matrix_r.html.

Who is that guy lying with Neo at the end? The "survivor"?

What does Revolutions have in store for us?

How does Neo get those "powers" outside the Matrix?

The 90/10 rule

Problems will occur. That's beyond doubt, but what is REALLY important is how we REACT to the problems WHEN they occur rather than worry/be sad about what could have been, or what should have been. The problem (or that really Bad Thing or whatever) has already happened - do you let it mess up your life more than it already has? Or do you nod your head, learn the lesson (there ALWAYS is a lesson to be learned whenever a screwup occurs) and move on.

This is the 90/10 rule.

A study was conducted (i forget by who and when) and it found that, in the average human being, 90% of our lives are determined by 10% of our actions. These actions can be good or bad, they can be positive or negative but the bottom line is that they have a tremendous impact on the rest of our lives. For example, John wakes up in the morning. By accident, his young son spills coffee on his shirt. He curses and swears and makes a terrible fuss. His mood is destroyed and he is incredibly irritated by the time he gets to work. Because he is upset, he makes some bad business decisions which have long-reaching negative implications on his business. A bad day at work translates to a very bad day at home when he goes home. He shouts at his wife, his wife cooks a bad meal because she is upset, he gets upset even more and they fight.

Just one decision John made ruined his whole day: he got angry because his son ACCIDENTLY spilled coffee on him. There was absolutely nothing he could do about the coffee being spilled on him; but what he did have control over was his reaction (his subsequent action) - that's why: 10% of his actions ruined the other 90% of the rest of his day. The 90/10 rule.

Kacip fatimah

It seems that our scientists are up to some good: the "formulation of the female love potion":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,191388,00.html. What Viagra did for men, the Malaysian government (good to know that our tax dollars are being used for such ground breaking technology research) hopes kacip fatimah will "do for women":http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2003/5/26/features/yykacip1&sec=features.

Its not just jets

We're not just buying 18 new Su-30s, but "a whole bloody division of arms":http://www.irna.com/en/head/030526090412.ehe.shtml across air, sea and land. Again, i have to ask why?

bq. Malaysia's armed forces, with a total strength of 110,000 men, recently announced plans to buy 18 Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets for US$900 million to add to its fleet of 18 MiGs, eight F-18s and 28 Hawks.It is also buying 48 main battle tanks from Poland for RM1.4 billion (US$368 million) and will pay 1.035 billion euros for three French submarines.

Ok, perhaps there is something here i'm missing; with matters of national security we can't be too careful as one commentor pointed out in "my recent post":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000445.html about the purchase of the Su-30s. But let's look at the possibilities one by one:

When elections come

An interesting article written by Dinesh Nair about "how the Internet can influence a political election":http://www.alphaque.com/article.php?sid=321.

Worth a read. What i do wonder about is the older generation that don't use the Internet. While the Internet can be empowering for some, it also serves as an agent of disenfranchisement - if you're not online, you're out-of-line.

That's why i think the battle of Malaysian politics will still be won or lost in the media and the pulpit. While the Internet can reach the tech-savvy, there just isn't enough of us to make a real difference at this point. I reckon a generation needs to pass before this reality will change.

Proper blogging

I'm probably going to get hammered for this, so consider the following posting a pre-emptive reply to "the question raised by Jeff Ooi":http://www.jeffooi.com/archives/000383.php : what did i really mean by a "proper blog" in "my interview":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000461.html appearing in The Edge last weekend?

In an attempt to give blogging some structure, i think what separates it from regular John/Jane Doe websites are the following:

# Regularly updated - if not daily, at least with some semblance of consistency
# Contains embedded links - not just links on the side bar to other blogs or to other frequently visited or recommended websites like "Malaysiakini":http://www.malaysiakini.com/ or "Hotmail":http://www.hotmail.com/. The major factor of the blogging philosophy is that it points its readers to "additional reading" on any particular topic - that's what the links are for
# Interactive features - this could be a commenting system, this could be a request for readers to write-in via email
# *VERY IMPORTANT* A personal touch - i reckon a blog is a blog when its written by a personality or a group of personalities. That personality may remain anonymous but the manner in which a blog is represented in cyberspace should be identifiably connected to a particular individual or small group of individuals (i.e. community/group blogging)

The Water on Leaves Series

I've just uploaded a new collection of images on VOI: Visuals called the "Water on Leaves Series":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/visuals/archives/000480.html. Its an 8-part focus on how rain water collects, interacts and lies on green leaves. I hope you enjoy it.

Information overload

Has technology left us with "too much information":http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/19/1053196515705.html? Unlike ever expanding hard drives, or chip processor speeds, or larger memory chips, the human ability to process information is finite. We are limited by our mental capacities (face it: some people are smarter than others thus will be able to process more information successfully), we are limited by the fact that we only have 24 hours, we are limited by the fact that we only have two hands, two ears, two eyes and a single brain. There aren't any upgrades.

So while the ability of technology to pass information on to us has is ever increasing, we are still the same. Our capacity for info reception and digestion will someday no longer be able to support the input we receive.

bq. Another day in the office, which, according to one recent study, consists of handling 46 phone calls, 25 emails, 16 voicemails, 23 items of post, eight inter-office memos, 16 faxes and nine mobile phone calls. While that sounds scary, its even more alarming to think that those figures - taken from a 2000 survey of companies employing between 100 and 499 staff conducted by Pitney Bowes in partnership with the US-based forecaster the Institute for the Future - are likely to have risen.

With so much information already out there, and you only having 24 hours, just like me and everyone else, what are you doing wasting your time on "this website":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/visuals/archives/000463.html? :)

Enter the Matrix

Nearly every blog i've visited has made some mention about how "Matrix Reloaded":http://edition.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/14/sprj.cas03.review.matrix/index.html is an fantastic/cool/excellent movie. And it peeves me that no one has made any mention at all about "the third Matrix movie":http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/fun.games/05/15/cnna.matrix.game/index.html that was released on the same day as "Reloaded".

Me in The Edge

I was featured in "The Edge":http://www.theedgedaily.com/ yesterday - "Crazy about Blogs" by "Oon Yeoh":http://www.malaysiakini.com/transitions/.

The full article (185kb)

Never a dynasty

Its assuring to be told by Dr M that he doesn't intend to start "a political dynasty":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,191052,00.html.

bq. "I give my assurance that I will not allow any of them to stand here or in other constituencies," he said at an Umno Kubang Pasu meeting in Jitra, Kedah, on Friday.

bq. "This is my assurance. I do not want to have a dynasty. I don't wish to create one," he told Umno members in his constituency.

While his sons are impressive businessmen - Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukriz - and his daughter, Marina, is an out-spoken member of Malaysia's burgeoning NGO scene, none have shown the putzah needed to run a country.

Islam in South East Asia

Its perhaps an irony that while Islam has been branded "a religion that allows terrorism":http://www.frontiers.org/perspective/, the primary focus of anti-terrorism efforts has been in the Middle East. We've got millions more Muslims here in South East Asia; based on a balance of statistical probability alone, it would be logical to assume that "the next wave of attacks will come from this region":http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/EE22Ae02.html.

But human beings aren't a bunch of numbers. Incalculable factors always influence our decisions. In this case, i suspect any act of terrorism will come, if at all (the "Bali bombing":http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,6477083%255E953,00.html notwithstanding), later rather than sooner because of our much maligned "Asian values".

What are "Asian values":http://www.uottawa.ca/hrrec/publicat/asian_values.html ?

All alone now

It was a struggle to hold back the tears this morning. All through the hectic morning that started at 5am, all through the family breakfast we shared, all through the car ride to KL Sentral - i locked my jaw in place, promising myself that i would not make this any more difficult than it already was; i promised myself they would have no cause to be anything but perfectly happy with the adventure that they were on. Australia and a new life beckoned.

As the luggage was unloaded, as the porters took it away, and as the going-away pictures were taken, i could feel the swell of emotion build inside me: not only was the family leaving, but i was being left behind. As a family, its never been that way before.

Family Pic at KL Sentral
They are on a great adventure; so am i

As the goodbyes were said, the hugs and kisses exchanged, the facade of strength nearly crumbled. It will be a long time before we will be together again. As i pulled away from the curb, staring at them in the rear-view mirror, the tears finally flowed.

I was and am, alone.

Holy Cow! Blogger is toast!

This is the end of Blogger's domination of idiot-proof blogging. "Announcing the imminent arrival of TypePad":http://www.typepad.com/. Updated with pictures of the user interface. Amazing stuff.

MSC Part Deux?

Over the years i've grown weary of "Malaysia's mega-projects":http://www.atimes.com/se-asia/AI03Ae02.html. Perhaps one of the largest white elephants of them all is the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). Billions of ringgit have been pumped into it with the promise that it will propel Malaysia into the 21st Century as a global ICT hub. Wrong.

Without proper planning in critical areas such as intellectual property, without proper investment in a more open and merit-based education system - the Malaysian mind has not been properly "configured" or "conditioned" to take full advantage of "the various incentives the MSC provides":http://www.msc.com.my/mdc/cs/gc/incentives.asp.

Our approach has been all wrong. Give a poor mind fantastic tools and you will still have a poor mind. And it seems that we're "pouring more good money":http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/economicnews/view/40188/1/.html after bad - we've got "our very own biotech valley now":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,190184,00.html. Its depressing that no one at "Putrajaya":http://www.putrajaya.net.my/ seems to be learning past lessons very well. Perhaps this is another characteristic of a poor mind.

Say NO to the Aussies!

Australian Federal Police Chief, Mick Keelty had "this to say a few days ago":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,190210,00.html :

bq. Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty was quoted in The Age newspaper on Monday as saying Australia wanted active cooperation in the region amid terrorism alerts here after a week of bombings by Islamic radicals in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

bq. Mr Keelty plans to seek agreement at an Asian police chiefs' meeting in the Philippines this month for Australia to maintain a 'flying squad' of counter-terrorism officers in the region.

With all due respect to the Australian need and willingness to assist in countering terrorism, Mr Keelty's plan stinks of "extra-territorial judiciary action":http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/lawreviews/meta-elements/journals/bciclr/25_1/05_TXT.htm, a huge NO-NO in cross border relations between nations, especially when a country explicitly says, as "Malaysia has done":http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s859494.htm, that the action is unwelcome. Its been a while since we last agreed, but "i see eye-to-eye with the Old Man":http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,6466053%255E1702,00.html on this one.

The "reaction from Canberra":http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,6466203%255E421,00.html from our reaction to their statement is predictable: they've ignored us. Typical first world mentality.

If tomorrow he was free

It is with great interest that i read Dr Wan Azizah's "account of her eldest daughter's recent wedding":http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200305200034453.php. She was thankful, regretful and slightly angry all at the same time. But most of all, i think she was a mother and a wife; in difficult times, i think her dedication to her family is worthy of applause.

I won't partake in "the debate":http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200305200034454.php that "Suresh":http://suresh.gnasegarah.org/ has started on the one-trick pony that is KeAdilan, nor will i argue about the merits or de-merits surrounding the hoopla that is the trial and subsequent incarceration of Mr Anwar Ibrahim.

But i will explore the "what if" of his release.

Forgetting the Internet

Do you know how the Internet started its life? What are its origins and who were the movers and shakers that made it happen?

All of those who answered, "Yes, i know", put your hands down and read this, the "History of the Internet":http://www.thelemon.net/issues/timeline.php. It uses pictures where words would not be enough, and i'll bet you'll learn something new about the Internet, this tool that we use so often in our daily lives.

bq. 1981 - Bill Gates embarks on heroic and lifelong quest to piss off every person in America.

bq. 1995 - Release of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer bring sharp rise in memory sales, profanity use.

A slap on the wrist

Politics takes the front seat once again when common sense should have prevailed: the deal to buy RM$1billion US "F-18 jets":http://home.webkorner.com/alcarter/ama/F-18.htm was shelved and, instead, RM$900million has been spent "purchasing 18 Sukhoi attack jets from Russia":http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/40094/1/.html.

Sukhoi-30
The Russian Sukhoi-30

First of all, why do we need more than a dozen of the most advanced fighter jets in the world in our arsenal? This question probably ranks up there with "why Malaysia needs a fleet of submarines":http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003&dt=0510&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=Home_News&pg=hn_04.htm. Perhaps to torpedo pirates on the high seas? The South China Seas pirates are armed with battleships, i've been told.

Secondly, if we've "already made a deal to buy F-18 jets":http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=8D041F83-449E-4794-881FF8B2D884589B which are proven combat-capable attack planes, why risk our reputation by reneging on that deal just to buy Russian "Sukhoi-30s":http://www.sci.fi/~fta/Su-30.htm that have not seen any extended front line action (read: untested under fire)? Its almost like the Government is trying to cut off its nose to spite its face.

Lastly, this move stinks to high-heaven as an attempt to garner popular support in the next elections. "See, we don't do business with the Great Satan. Vote for us, we are people of integrity." Yeah, right. Blowing RM$1billion of taxpayers' money for planes that will only see the light of day during the Merdeka parade.

Maybe, there will be "snap elections come October":http://www.riyadhdaily.com.sa/cgi-bin/display_assay.pl?issue=Sunday+-+11+May+2003§ion=Middle+East/World&id=32709.

Laughter

Without a doubt, laughter is the "absolute cure for the emotional blues":http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/israeldiary/Laughter_The_Best_Medicine.asp. Feeling down? Find a reason to laugh and you'll feel better. Feeling sad? Laugh about why you're sad, and maybe that "laugh will become a smile":http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_81.asp.

I had a great time tonight. You know who you are: thanks.

True Love

Love is not about the complications
Its not about the ill, the will, or the contests
It shouldn't be about the when or where
It can be about the why, the who and the we

Love is not bound by the bindings of time
Its not forged in happiness, or even despair
It comes when your eyes are closed
It comes as a whisper on your lips, gentle and calm

Love is not taken, nor is it really given
Its not a trade, or even a give or take
It may be rattled, it may be strained
But you know it is when the bonds remain

True love is about once in a lifetime
True love is about never feeling it twice
True love is about undying devotion
True love is about finding a space

And staying there, comfortable regardless.

(Dedicated to you who have found true love)

Furious Angels

This is a "brilliant song and video clip":http://www.dmc.co.uk/movies/FuriousAngels.mov by Rob Dougan. "Furious Angels", appears on the Matrix Reloaded OST. (Narrowband users may experience poor AV quality on this Quicktime clip. Thanks to "Jason Kottke":http://www.kottke.org/index.html for the "lead":http://www.kottke.org/03/05/030515are_you_seek.html.)

Ends justifies the means

The micropoll and comments running in "my ealier posting":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000420.html seems to show that most believe the war on Iraq was not justified even in the light of mass graves being found scattered across the country.

Well, as "Oon Yeoh sarcastically pointed out":http://www.oonyeoh.blogspot.com/2003_05_01_oonyeoh_archive.html#200303959, very few of us had any qualms about the use of NATO troops in removing "a democratically elected leader of a sovereign state":http://www.cnn.com/resources/newsmakers/world/europe/milosevic.html during the "Yugoslavian civil war":http://home.wanadoo.nl/gerard.vonhebel/yugoslavia.htm (began May 1991) on the grounds that he was a human rights violator. Even our very own "Dr Mahathir was in full support":http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/1896-cn.htm of that action back then.

Just goes to show how short some people's memories are; selective recall would be the term psychologists use. Are we really upset because the US took unilateral action in Iraq, or is it really an issue of religion?

We have few or no objections when Christians want to blow each other up, but when its Muslims who are being blown up by Christians, then we find fault.

3rd Century of Blogs

The "Great Malaysian Blog List":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/blinks/ has registered its 300th Blog, "Boe's Blog":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=479!

When i first started this project in Nov 2002, i had very modest expectations. I knew the blogosphere was rich with Malaysian-made blogs, but i'm truly astounded by some of the quality out there. A quick perusal of the "most visited":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/blinks/Cool and "top rated":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/blinks/Ratings blogs on the GMBL will show you what i mean.

Thank you all for your kind support.

Me, in Egyptian

I am a VULTURE flying among the FLOWERING REEDS, unrestricted by BELT or COILED ROPE. I am a HAND that feeds a HAND touching the FLOWERING REEDS, looking for WATER.

This is my name in "Egyptian hieroglyphs":http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/glyphs_1.html :

Aizuddin in Hieroglyphs
Aizuddin in a language from 2100BC

(Thanks to "Najah":http://www.najahnasseri.org/ and "Kaz":http://fugue.blogspot.com for "the lead":http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/egypt/translator.html)

Foot in mouth... again

Why does Dr Mahathir need to say things that clearly "puts his foot in his mouth":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/topstories/story/0,4386,189547,00.html? The latest of a long line of such examples is his claim that the US is "afraid of its own shadow":http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3033409.stm because it has issued "travel warnings against Malaysia":http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-682807,00.html.

While the effects of such a statement may have far-reaching implications on an already depressed economy that relies heavily on external investment, the US and any other country for that matter is well within its rights to warn its citizens living overseas or planning to travel overseas. Not unlike the travel advisories the Malaysian government issued during the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong/China/etc.

While its important that the Malaysian government "issue a statement assuring foreign visitors that the country is safe":http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/39930/1/.html, i think our PM goes too far in seeing the need to make such agressive statements. In a world already full of antagonism, it doesn't help anyone to add a little more.

But then again, he is our Old Man, and love him or hate him, he does know how to entertain. I reckon Abdullah Badawi, when "he takes over at the end of the year":http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-05/10/article09.shtml, will be much less so, the -dry coot- diplomat that he is.

Jemaah Islamiyah

With "travel warnings being issued against Malaysia":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000422.html in the anticipation of "a terrorist attack on our shores":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/topstories/story/0,4386,189295,00.html, i wondered who would be responsible if such attacks took place. In all likelihood, the ones responsible will be "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)":http://www.abc.net.au/public/s856261.htm, "yet another violent group of people":http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/jemaah.html who use religion as their excuse to wage war.

bq. Jemaah Islamiah (JI) is not a particularly new phenomenon in South-East Asia. The roots of JI began as long ago as the late 1940s in Indonesia. Essentially, there has been a tradition within Indonesian politics for a radical Islamic group to agitate for the imposition of an Islamic state within Indonesia. Over the years there has been a resuscitation of this particular Indigenous Indonesian phenomenon.

The "yes, but"

Picked up this lead from "Transitions":http://www.malaysiakini.com/transitions/ : an "excellent article":http://www.tribnet.com/opinion/columnists/william_safire/story/2654867p-2697221c.html written by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, William Safire. Its about the "yes, butters" of this world. While his subject matter is the war on Iraq and those who oppose it, i believe the principle of "yes, but" can be applied to just about any situation in the world that requires a decisive decision.

Agreeing in priciple but not in the means gets no one anywhere. Whenever a decision is needed there should be only three types of people:

# Those who agree, and those who will do upon what is agreed
# Those who disagree and will not do anything
# Those who agree, but disagree with the methods AND is willing to suggest an alternative

Which type are you? Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

A response to Mediha

I've had the privilege of knowing a certain Mediha Mahmood for many years - we debated together while in university. It was with great interest that i read her piece, "If The Neanderthal Came To Visit":http://www.promuda.com/?ch=12&pg=93&ac=286, appearing in the latest "Prodigy":http://www.promuda.com/?ch=12&pg=93&ac=274.

The following is my response to her thought provoking article. Prodigy is "PROMUDA's":http://www.promuda.com/ online magazine.

--------------------------------------------

Dear Mediha,

Perhaps the Neanderthal wouldn't understand us, perhaps he will scoff at our "hypocrisy", our "democracy", our need to use "violence under the guise of legal necessity".

2 seconds of fame

Thanks to "Oon Yeoh":http://www.malaysiakini.com/transitions/, the Volume of Interactions was shown tonight on "7 News":http://www.ntv7.com.my/schedule/thu.htm (NTV7, 12.10am, daily). Cool.

(Thanks to Intan for the info - but there is some confusion: was the program on NTV7 (as "blogged by Oon Yeoh":http://www.oonyeoh.blogspot.com/2003_05_01_oonyeoh_archive.html#200293661) or on TV3? Anyone else saw it?)

Peace no more

Its all in the news: the haven that is Malaysia "is no longer safe":http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1052251574152&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037. We are next on "the terrorist hit-list":http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000080&sid=auCzakw__qps&refer=asia. Flee the cities, head into the mountains, and cower under the protection of banana trees deep in the jungle. Perhaps there, you will be safe.

Terror without religion

How many times must Muslims say this before we are heard and understood: Islam is not, and has never been, a passport to commit acts of terrorism. An Arab name like Osama bin Laden doesn't necessarily make him a Muslim, thus his actions are not representative of what Islam stands for. Terrorists have "no religion, only politics":http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/news/stories/20030515/localnews/304124.html.

Mass graves in Iraq

Just like many of us, i felt outrage that the United States of America, the UK and the "coalition forces" invaded Iraq - in a bid to disarm a nation of its "WMD":http://cns.miis.edu/research/wmdme/ (of which all that's been "found so far is a trailer":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000396.html), in a bid to remove "a despot":http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1100529.stm, in a bid to retaliate for past acts of terrorism and to prevent future ones.

I've never believed that force is an acceptable tool for "foreign policy":http://www.foreignpolicy.com/index.php; war is an act of irrational beings who have lost the capacity to find peaceful solutions. And yet, after reading that "mass graves have been found in Iraq":http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52432-2003May13.html (up to 15,000 bodies), i can't help but feel that the US/UK has probably unwittingly done the Iraqi people and, in extension, the world community a favour. "Thousands upon thousands":http://electroniciraq.net/news/780.shtml of Iraqi "Shi'ite Muslims":http://www.bartleby.com/65/sh/Shiites.html were slaughtered by an Iraqi government led by Saddam - "Sunni":http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/islam/sunni/geness.html ethnic cleansing at work, in the name of "a religion":http://www.islamtomorrow.net/islam/definition.htm that ONLY means "peace".

Forget WMD, forget cross-border international terrorism - the "murder of thousands of Iraqis":http://asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2739002 is reason enough for war. I dare anyone "to speak out against the war now":http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3026655.stm.

Does the finding of mass graves justify the war in Iraq?

Sadness

There is much sadness in my life right now. Please don't ask why; those who are close to me will know the reason.

I've resigned myself to drown in my work - perhaps, that way, it'll take the sting out of the separation.

The clash of civilizations

With the events leading up to and post 9/11, it would seem that "Huntington's hypothesis":http://www.lander.edu/atannenbaum/Tannenbaum%20courses%20folder/POLS%20103%20World%20Politics/103_huntington_clash_of_civilizations_full_text.htm that the next major conflict this world will witness will be one between civilizations has been validated. The global society is divided along historical "fault-lines" - these divisions make for the existence of the various religions, cultures and systems of belief. It will be along these differences that a "clash of civilizations" will exist.

Nurul Izzah's wedding

Over the weekend, "Anwar Ibrahim's":http://www.freeanwar.com/ eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah, 23, married Raja Ahmad Shahril Iskandar Raja Salim, 27, a member of the Johor royal family. They've known each other "since 1999 when they met in the UK":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,188226,00.html. Considering the political nature of Nurul's family, i can imagine that this marriage will not be easy; i'm sure the groom knows that and i applaud his courage. I wish the newlyweds well.

Nurul Izzah
Nurul Izzah, the bride

Reception picture
Raja Ahmad and Nurul Izzah from "Freeanwar.com":http://www.freeanwar.com/photo/Izzah_Reception/slideshow1.htm

I also congratulate the government's decision to "allow Anwar Ibrahim to give his daughter away":http://e.sinchew-i.com/content.phtml?sec=2&artid=200305100000, as is his paternal right. Certainly, as a convicted criminal still serving time, this was a privilege that the prison officials or the home ministry did not have to grant. But "they did anyway":http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030510/API/305100565&cachetime=5, and i'm pleased that common sense prevailed. Politics is one thing, but basic human decency is another altogether: don't let one cloud the other.

Madonna's Amerian Life

The great thing about weekends is that it gives me time to do some leisurely shopping. And i try to give some of this time to a weekly visit to "Tower Records":http://www.towerrecords.com/ (either Mega Mall, or One Utama). Recently, i picked up "Madonna's":http://www.madonna.com/ "American Life" and, gosh, it is a doozer.

American Life
Madonna's "American Life"

Malaysia's Al-Jazeera

Many questions are still "left unanswered":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/2003_05_04_jeffooi_archive.html#94019060 over the usefulness and practicality of the Joint Media Team Malaysia (JMTM) who returned from their assignments in Iraq recently.

But politicians being sharks, they can smell blood in the water. Whenever a suitable, "feel-good opportunity presents itself":http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/National/20030509074758/Article/, you can almost be sure that the Government will do their best to take advantage of it, regardless of the "cost to the taxpayers":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/2003_05_04_jeffooi_archive.html#93957073.

Italian photoblog

A brilliant new photoblog has been added to the Great Malaysian Blog List. By a Malaysian living in Italy, you'll find some way cool pics on the "Roving Eye":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=464.

bq. My name is Roving Eye and this is my brand spanking new blog. I somehow wound up moving from New York to Milano, Italy where I'm taking Italian lessons, traveling, and generally having a good time.

E-biz away days

Writing this from the ultra-luxurious rooms of the "Avillion Village Resort, Port Dickson":http://www.asiatraveltips.com/AvillionVillageResort.htm. Will be here till Tuesday next - my unit is on an extended brain storming session to plan our moves for the next 5 years (!!).

Had a funny discussion with my "colleague":http://www.ericosta.com/ while on the way here: i told him that Avillion is famous for the holes in the floor of its toilets that allow people to piss directly into the sea. Yups, thats right - the chalets are on stilts, extending out into the sea. And they have square holes in the floor of their toilets.

He told me that he isn't the piss-into-the-sea sort of guy; he's more the i-want-to-know-my-piss-ends-up-in-a-septic-tank sorta guy. I said what does that mean? What sort of guy enjoys pissing into the sea?

With a deadpan stare, he replied, "A guy like you." I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Typical journalism

This is so typical of Malaysian "main-stream" journalism: slam the Opposition for something they said but not tell us why the Opposition said it (for all intents and purposes, they are probably not as dumb a bunch the media would like to portray them to be). There must be a reason why Opposition members are saying that teaching our children "the English language should be discouraged":http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/5/6/nation/fbview05&sec=nation; why it is haram.

The Holy Quran is very clear about "what is forbidden and what is not":http://iaia.essortment.com/islamhalaalhar_rdep.htm; this is perhaps one of the most "appealing factors about Islam":http://www.al-islam.org/inquiries/3.html. If indeed, the Opposition says that English is one of those which is forbidden, they need to get their reason across to the public. Otherwise, they will seem like the "backward" bunch Azalina Othman says they are.

Sayonara spam?

Yeah right. If you could get rid of it, you would be the most revered King of the World. Ooops. Sorry, isn't that what "Bill Gates wants to be":http://www.hardwarezone.com/news/news.hwz?cid=5&aid=11217.

Go, baby, go!

I know this is way beyond my normal blogging scope - in fact i don't even have a suitable category for it.

bq. Oh, and how's this for worrisome? At more than one location in the queue, we're informed that "Occasionally, a launched train will not clear the hill. You should not be concerned; the train will slowly return to the launch position." Gulp.

But, oh year, baby. I "want to ride this sucker":http://www.thrillride.com/ttd/ttd.html at least once in my life.

Scary

"Am i or am i not":http://joi.ito.com/archives/2003/02/21/blog_awareness_stage_4_blog_addiction.html?

Not just there yet, but if this goes on much longer, it can't be far away.

Silly Microsoft

If you have a Hotmail account, this is probably "a good reason as any":http://securityfocus.com/archive/75/320768/2003-05-05/2003-05-11/0 to switch to Yahoo; the "security vulnerability":http://news.com.com/2100-1002_3-1000429.html of Passport (the "authentication system":http://www.passport.net/Consumer/Default.asp?lc=1033 that protects your Hotmail account + any other info you have associated to Passport) is staggering. Too bad "the problem has been fixed":http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/30/tech/main538597.shtml; i wanted to read some friends' email. :)

Yet another screw-up in the long list of Microsoft's "inability to produce secure products":http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/25/tech/main513342.shtml.

Net writing

"Najah":http://www.najahnasseri.org/ and i were talking over coffee at Starbucks last night, exchanging views about how blogging has affected our lives. We agreed that the greatest effect has been its influence on the way we write and think. A positive change has occurred. It seems that "The Guardian agrees":http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,950915,00.html.

Intherain.org

This is a "really cool site":http://postcard.intherain.org/, design and content wise. Simple, straight to the point writing that's easy to digest and understand. If only more people (myself included) could be so brief yet remain relevant.

Don't miss the "postcard section":http://postcard.intherain.org/. Some quality pics there by the author.

Malaysia = Iraq

Now that the process of "rebuilding Iraq has begun":http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/war-iraq/new_govt/index.asp?article=who_decides, questions have been raised about how it should be done. You have a nation that is made up of various ethnic groups, split along tribal factions. Bringing them together under a democratic umbrella, considering that they don't have a democratic tradition and culture will be challenging. Perhaps the way to go is "democracy-lite":http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/Primetime/iraq_democracy030502.html. Malaysia has been cited as an example of this type of democracy working to unite a developing nation.

Intel: Centrino

The "new Centrino chip":http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/Intel/Centrino/ is Intel's foray into the wireless market. With wireless capabilities built-in, the chip allows for a user to access wireless networks without the use of any further hardware. Coupled with some "pretty amazing power-saving technologies":http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/Intel/Centrino/page12.htm, this makes for a pretty darned efficient mobile chip.

Centrino
The mobile chip

What makes it even more cool is that "Malaysians were responsible for a key component":http://www.theedgedaily.com/article.cfm?id=21447 of the Centrino, the ICH4M (God knows what that stands for). Without it, the Centrino wouldn't be possible. Malaysia Boleh! :)

A reply to The Economist

I've been following our (or rather, the Government's) "recent spat with The Economist":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/2003_04_27_jeffooi_archive.html#93631508 with some humour lately; it almost seems like a couple of kids have been thrown into a sandbox and are beginning to play that game i think we all played once-upon-a-time, "You said, i said, you said".

Mustapa Mohamed of the "National Economic Action Council":http://www.neac.gov.my/start.cfm wrote a response that "The Economist has duly printed":http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1763494. Just in case the link becomes lost, i've reproduced below in its entirety with due credit to The Economist and Mr. Mohamed. Its interesting to note The Economist officially apologizing at the end of the letter even though "most predicted that they wouldn't":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/2003_04_27_jeffooi_archive.html#93517163.

Also, don't miss the letter written by Francis Yeoh. "He was interviewed":http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=1677242 for "the piece The Economist published":http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1677228, but he feels that his "contribution" has been used in an article that unfairly judges Dr Mahathir.

Napster, Grokster and Morpheus

File sharing. At some point or another, i'm sure we've indulged in it. Either through Napster (when is was still around), to Grokster, to Morpheus or Kazaa.

But how many of us understand the technology that powers these P2P (peer-to-peer) applications? Find out "what makes them tick":http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20030508_sprigman.html, and why copyright laws are finding it so hard to stick on them.

Amir Yussof's Aquarius

Amir Yussof's "Web Launch Party at Niche Livehouse":http://www.amiryussof.com.my/niche.htm (Kerinchi, Bangsar) will be happening 9 May 2003, 10pm. I'm very excited about the prospect of hearing him perform live, especially the tracks from his latest album "Aquarius":http://www.amiryussof.com.my/aquarius.htm.

Web Launch Party
Be there or be square

By all accounts and reviews, his third album well deserves the "raves it has received":http://www.amiryussof.com.my/press.htm. After listening to it, there is something in it that was definitely missing from his previous efforts, "Some of This is Real" and "Altered Native" - to use a word to describe this something extra: maturity. Its taken three years to release Aquarius. His music has certainly not suffered from the wait.

Aquarius
Aquarius - three years in the making

Listen to 2 tracks from Aquarius on the VOI: Audio :

# Fools in Love (Thumbs )
# Wasted Time (Thumbs )

Got the album? What do you think? Thumbs

The files for review will remain on the VOI: Audio until 24 May 2003. The contents of the review are protected under "'Fair Dealing' copyright exceptions":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000351.html.

Bioweapon crock

The "US finds a trailer":http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030508/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_us_military&cid=540&ncid=716 that has traces of bioweapon technology and, oh suddenly, that justifies the whole war against Iraq. Can you imagine how stupid that sounds: we went to war, spent billions of dollars, ripped a country to pieces, killed hundreds of innocents and its ok because we found a TRAILER that MAY have been used to create bioweapons.

THE trailer
The trailer from Hell

A damned trailer - a war was "fought over a trailer":http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22694-2003May6.html. Outrageous.

SARS blow

Well, race fans - the "Japan GT race in Malaysia is off":http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=6&id=259042, the prestigious "Eagle Tour Malaysia 2003 is off":http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003&dt=0507&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=Sports&pg=sp_06.htm.

While the health effect of SARS will probably remain quite limited in our country, you can bet the fear that its generated will mean "a tremendous blow to the tourism industry":http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/EE08Ae02.html. It certainly doesn't help that Malaysia is not well known for its "transparency when dealing with health crises":http://www.apmforum.com/hariini/archives/000304.php.

No information + mis-information = loss of confidence = fear = panic

UPDATE: Its been reported that "the worse is now over":http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=7&id=259197.

Exam orientation

I used to slog in my secondary school studies, mostly because i've got a terrible memory (and just too lazy to improve it). For a Malaysian student, this is death: with everything being exam oriented, if you couldn't remember stuff well enough to regurgitate them on exam day, you were sunk.

Poor exam results = fewer (or none) scholarship opportunities, derision from peers and parents and a general feeling of low self-esteem.

Now, the Education Minister, Musa Hamid, tells the nation that "things are going to be less exam oriented":http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,187632,00.html. Damn, i should have been born 10 years later.

Death on the Internet

25 year old man meets 13 year old girl over the Internet, presumably via chatrooms, personals, etc. They meet, have sex a few times and she dies during one such encounter. He's "convicted of manslaughter":http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=1235578&nav=3YeXFGog, faces 30 years in prison and has the gall to try to reduce that sentence by claiming she wanted "rough sex". Yeah right, a "13 year old virgin wanted rough sex":http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=1265290&nav=3YeXFeFf that led to her death. Pull the other one.

There seems to be very little discussion about how much blame lies in the hands of Christina Long's parents. Whenever bad shit happens to a child, a minor - it is ALWAYS, without exception, partly or wholely the fault of the parent(s). In this case, its hard to believe that her parents couldn't "monitor her behaviour":http://www.netnanny.com/ on the 'Net. They should have checked on her, made random spots to make sure she was "using the 'Net in a healthy manner":http://www.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/getneed.html. The fact that she had the freedom to meet and build a relationship with this man proves that they didn't monitor her; and even if they did, it was certainly not enough.

We are responsible for our children. What they do, and certainly what happens to them. If you're not ready to take that on your shoulders, use condoms until you are.

Collateral damage

I may sound like a prick for saying this, but "Ya Yasmine's loss of her legs during US bombing":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/2003_05_04_jeffooi_archive.html#93889972 shouldn't be looked upon from an emotional perspective. Yes, its a sad thing that she was hurt; her brother was killed compounding her loss. Yes, the US is at fault for dropping the bombs that did this to her. Yes, "we should sympathize":http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/Frontpage/20030505223313/Article/.

But, no, we shouldn't use her example as a stoke for anti-war (non, anti-US) sentiment. I believe that military action is not an "acceptable foreign policy tool":http://www.usaengage.org/archives/resources/matrix.html, but i also understand that once war does take place, unfortunate, as it may be, people, innocent people are going to get hurt. Stray bullets and bombs are going to kill and maim "those who are guiltless":http://slate.msn.com/id/2079264/.

Red v Blue overload

A few days ago, i put up a link to "The Blood Gulch Chronicles":http://www.redvsblue.com/bloodgulch.shtml. Due to incredible demand for this excellent "machinima":http://www.machinima.com, "RVB":http://www.redvsblue.com has set up "a mirror server":http://news.gametab.com/torrents.php.

The Animatrix

Ever wondered what happened prior to the "original Matrix, the movie":http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/? Morpheous tells us that there was a catacylsmic war with the machines, humans scorched the sky, and the machines transform humans into "living batteries". The "Matrix" was created to keep humans in check, by controlling our minds. What were the events that led up to that conclusion?

"The Animatrix":http://www.intothematrix.com/ has the answer. In a series of "animes":http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci211567,00.html, all downloadable and viewed via Quicktime, we are told the story of how the Matrix was created. I've watched the first installment and its good stuff, an excellent anime that gave me goose bumps because i can imagine it all happening in our own not-so-distant future.

WARNING: Its a very graphical, mature "anime":http://www.mit.edu/people/rei/Expl.html. There are scenes of violence and nudity that may not be suitable for all viewers. Also, the files are extremely large : 30MB+ for the lo-res version, 80MB++ for the higher res versions.

UPDATE: Watched all 5 available episodes (including the trailer) - ~350MB. Its a brilliant series. Any fan of anime and/or the Matrix should watch it. Pay particular attention to "The Second Renaissance, Part I and II". Can i have the red pill please?

Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Its now possible for commentors to track a comments thread via email. You will notice that i've added a subscribe/unsubscribe option at the end of each comment page. If you wish to be notified whenever a new comment is made on that particular posting, select "Subscribe". If you wish to unsubscribe, select "Unsubscribe". You also have access to a subscription manager from which you can unsubscribe from multiple postings at the same time.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe
New functionality for the VOI

All emails used to allow for comment subscriptions are placed in a password-protected directory to protect against "spambots":http://diveintomark.org/archives/2003/02/26/how_to_block_spambots_ban_spybots_and_tell_unwanted_robots_to_go_to_hell.html. They will never be shared with any third-party. Thanks to "Scriptygoddess":http://www.scriptygoddess.com/archives/000982.php for the great script.

Shakespeare

When sunny offered me a RM150 ticket for just RM81 to watch "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)", it was too good to resist; the only reason why i hadn't watched it yet was because i thought the tickets too expensive. Thanks, sunny. Owe you one, buddy.

bq. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is - in a flash - all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in 97 hilarious minutes and includes Othello in rap; Titus Andronicus as a cooking show; all the historical plays as football commentary; and Hamlet performed front, back as well as sideways!" - from "Axcess Ticketing":http://www.axcesstickets.com/contents/event/present/index.htm

Last night was a excellent experience, the actors full of energy and the jokes subtle enough to tickle the mind as well as the gut. Its no wonder that its the longest running comedy in the UK. Read the "full review":http://www.kakiseni.com/articles/reviews/MDMzNA.html.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention this before - as part of the show, the actors took my program book and tore it up on stage (!!). They replaced it, to great applause from the audience, with a copy signed by all three of them. :D

Annual bashing

"World Press Freedom Day":http://www.wan-press.info/pages/3may.html (3 May 2003) has come and gone. Malaysia takes its "scheduled beating":http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinionsfeatures/200305050041146.php on the stage of media world opinion; we're "ranked 110th":http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/EE07Ae01.html in terms of press freedom. Indonesia, Thailand and the Phillipines are way ahead of us.

Recognizing Iraq

Our Foreign Minister, "Syed Hamid Albar has released a statement":http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/39133/1/.html that Malaysia won't recognize a US-sponsored "Iraqi interim government":http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/05/05/sprj.irq.main/. What a mistake. Its time to get off our high-horse of indignation - the war came and went. Rebuilding Iraq won't be easy. Why make it difficult by "not participating":http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/5/6/latest/11804Malaysiaw&sec=latest? Why make enemies when protesting at this point won't serve any real purpose?

Web usability

My web guru is "Jakob Nielsen":http://www.useit.com/. I studied his books when i was working at "MIR":http://www.mir.com.my, and i think this gave me a solid grounding in understanding web usability. I'm certainly no expert, but i think Nielsen advocates a few rules that, if followed, will ensure you won't go wrong (or too wrong).

bq. Rule #1: "Simplicity is priceless":http://www.infoconomy.com/pages/information-age/group44399.adp
Rule #2: "Don't be too clever":http://www.infomaticsonline.co.uk/News/1136781
Rule #3: "Be accessible":http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/1202/mgt-access-12-02-02.asp
Rule #4: "Make the web usable":http://www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/002321.php
Rule #5: "Bad designs kill websites":http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A48167-2001Oct24¬Found=true

Condoms and hotels

Its an interesting fact that a condom powdered milk company and a hotelier are "the best employers in Malaysia":http://www.theedgedaily.com/article.cfm?id=21395. Perhaps there is some co-relation. -Better condom sales, better hotel occupancy (or vice versa) - therefore greater emphasis on customer service (no pun intended), therefore employers greater focus on their employees to motivate them to provide the required better service-.

UPDATE: I screwed up. It was Dumex that got the award, not DUREX! Thanks to Shakur for pointing it out.

"My employer":http://www.petronas.com.my is nowhere on the top 10 list. Hey, i protest, i'm treated quite well! Though you should ask those at PETRONAS Group Information Resources Management (GIRM); they may have a different opinion.

Does your employer treat you well?

Red v Blue

"The Blood Gulch Chronicles":http://www.redvsblue.com/bloodgulch.shtml is a seriously funny cartoon created using "Microsoft's Halo":http://www.microsoft.com/games/halo/ game engine. Gosh. If you have some time (and bandwidth) to spare to download the trailer + the 6 episodes to date, it is certainly worth it. I downloaded the "trailer":http://webdev.o1.com/rvb/movies/trailer/RvB_Trailer_DivX.zip (12.6MB) this morning and it was mega-hilarious. Rolling on the floor funny.

Its an excellent example of "machinima":http://www.machinima.com :

Wolverine's origins

When i was younger, i collected comics. Tons and tons of comics. Every single sen i could save from pocket money, anything i could beg, borrow or steal when into servicing my "habit". I suppose, in the larger scheme of things, i was a late bloomer. By the time i started collecting the Uncanny X-Men and Spiderman (my faves), they were already deep into their 200th+ issues. But i do have some gems - X-Men #248 ("Jim Lee's first X-Men appearance":http://www.uncannyxmen.net/covers/uncanny/uncanny248.jpg) and one or two really valuable Spidey items. Other nice ones i have are "Spawn":http://www.spawn.com/comics/ #1-8, Wildcats #1-4 (including a signed - by "Jim Lee":http://www.ninthart.com/display.php?article=437 - and numbered limited edition #3)

I stopped collecting when i entered "university":http://www.iiu.edu.my, circa 1995. Just didn't have the time or the resources to keep up any more.

Indexing blogs in real-time

It just occurred to me that since there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs in the "Blogosphere":http://www.microcontentnews.com/articles/blogosphere.htm, quite a number of them would be updated fairly regularly. Perhaps, at least, tens of thousands of blogs are updated at least once every 24 hours. Simple math tells us that thousands of postings are created every minute!

Mind boggling when one considers the amount of human knowledge that is created, distributed, shared and digested with each passing minute, with every single posting that is made on any particular blog. Wow.

Is there a way to keep track of this knowledge is real-time? Yes, there is. Its called "Daypop":http://www.daypop.com/.

Micropolling

Have an opinion but too lazy to write a comment?

The latest gadget i've included in the VOI is "Rick K Schrager's excellent Micropoll":http://technoerotica.net/micropoll.html. It allows for simple and very small yet effective polling gadgets to be inserted into individual blog posts. If you so desire, you can even run multiple polls within the same posting. Does that make sense?

Anyway, have fun with this. Feel free to try it out. For general issues, your choices will be "Yes" or "No", as found above. Whenever the poll is used for "review purposes":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000373.html you'll see this instead: Thumbs

Preparing for INFOSOC

"INFOSOC":http://www.nitc.org.my/infosoc/ is still quite some time away. But i find myself using idle time to think about what "i've been asked to talk about":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000372.html : blogging technology, current and emerging.

Its always good to start with the basics: "what are the components of a blog":http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/06/13/megnut.html, "what motivates bloggers":http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/01/01/cory.html, and where blogging could ultimately lead: "a professional digest of the web":http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/08/12/megnut.html.

Now, if only i could find something about blogging technology; perhaps "this will help":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596003889/qid%253D1052125598/sr%253D11-1/ref%253Dsr%255F11%255F1/renungan-20.

Malaysian broadband

Malaysian broadband? That's almost an oxymoron. Asia Computer Weekly "optimistically reported":http://www.asiacomputerweekly.com/acw_ViewArt.cfm?Magid=1&Artid=19669&Catid=5&subcat=40 that Telekom Malaysia is going to install 1million broadband ports (presumably for its "Streamyx service":http://isp.tm.net.my/streamyx/index.shtml) nationwide by year's end. A host of other players are jumping the broadband bandwagon - connectivity via satellite, etc. On the surface of things, Malaysia's broadband future looks pretty rosy.

Does Malaysia have broadband for consumers?

Wanna be #1?

There are some of you out there who crave attention, and though you've not asked for my help, i offer it freely anyway just so that you stop shameless-ly self-plugging yourself on your website and others' (don't look around; yes, i'm talking to you! you know who you are... :) )

"Find out how to be #1 on Google":http://www.technoerotica.net/mylog/publication.html! Or Yahoo! Or anywhere else for that matter. A very highly recommended read that is worth every penny of the US$3.50 you'll have to pay.

Or, if you're a cheapskate, learn for free "how to transform the few visitors you have":http://livingcode.manilasites.com/discuss/msgReader$105 into the "thousands of hits you wish you had":http://livingcode.manilasites.com/discuss/msgReader$171.

44 Steps

We live, we die. There are "44 steps to our life":http://www.themeaningoflife.org/ in between these two certainties. And i think we spend a lot of those steps trying to "understand the meaning of life":http://www.aristotle.net/~diogenes/meaning1.htm.

To X2 or not to X2

When "the hype surrounding a movie":http://www.upcomingmovies.com/xmen2.html is as great as that surrounding "X-Men 2 (X2)":http://x2-movie.com/, expectations tend to build up. Then either one of two things can happen: the movie "bombs out":http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2003/05/02/DD45234.DTL&type=movies or proves to be "a blockbuster":http://cincinnati.com/freetime/movies/reviews/05022003_x2.html. I watched X2 today. I'm disappointed to report that its the former.

X-Men 2
X2: Return of the Hype

Without giving too much away, i think the movie tried to do too much and eventually got no where. We were promised character development. There was just "too many characters":http://www.blockbuster.com/bb/movie/details/castandcrew/0,7819,VID-V+++278281,00.html on screen to allow this to happen. We were promised "action and special effects":http://www.startribune.com/stories/1553/3854184.html. The action sequences were disjointed and haphazard; you can hardly tell what's going on.

Seen the movie? What do you think? Thumbs

Perhaps X3 will deliver on the promise made by X1 and X2. They can't get it wrong three times in a row, can they?

Audio: Meteora

The first ever review on the VOI: Audio will be of "Linkin Park's":http://www.linkinpark.com/home.php (LP) latest album, "Meteora".

bq. "We're just rolling with the rhythm rise from the ashes of stylistic division with these non-stop lyrics of life living not to be forgotten but still unforgiven." - Meteora - Nobody's Listening

LP's previous album, Hybrid Theory was the "top selling album of 2001":http://www.rollingstone.com/news/newsarticle.asp?nid=15172 - it sold a staggering 4.8 million copies in the US, and shipped more than 14 million worldwide. And for good reason too - "Papercut", "Crawling", and "In the End" were excellent representations of their music and the rock genre. Expectations were certainly very high on their sophomore album, "Meteora" - after such a phenomenal debut, could they repeat the feat?

Linkin Park - Meteora
Wow!

In a word: Yes. LP - "Brad, Rob, Mike, Chester, Joe, Phoenix":http://www.linkinpark2k.com/biographies/ - have, by all accounts released a magnificent album. There is a mix of power - "Somewhere I Belong" - to sublety - "Easier to Run" - to mystery - "Breaking the Habit". A truly multi-dimensional album that has kept me energized each morning for the past week as i drive to work.

"We wanted to write songs that lived up to the energy that name (Meteora) exudes," said Chester Bennington. Yes, i do believe you've succeeded.

Listen to 3 songs from "Meteora" on the VOI: Audio:

# Somewhere I Belong (Your rating: Thumbs )
# Easier to Run (Your rating: Thumbs )
# Breaking the Habit (Your rating: Thumbs )

Got the album? What do you think? Thumbs

The files for review will remain on the VOI: Audio until 16 May 2003. The contents of the review are protected under "'Fair Dealing' copyright exceptions":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000351.html.

INFOSOC 2003

Yup, as reported on "Screenshots by Jeff Ooi":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/, "Oon Yeoh":http://www.malaysiakini.com/transitions/ and myself will be speaking at "INFOSOC 2003":http://www.nitc.org.my/infosoc/, the signature event for the National IT Council (NITC). To be held in 21-24 June 2003, the event is sponsored by the Melaka State Government in partnership with a host of "smart partners", including "PROMUDA":http://www.promuda.com/ (of which i'm a member), and the "Malaysian Youth Council":http://www.belia.org.my/.

The proposed topic for our panel presentation is:

"Introduction to Nano-Publishing (Blogging) - Building a Strong Foundation for Self-Expression and Personal Development"

Sounds like a big deal, but it basically just means that we'll be talking on particular aspects of blogging in general and how this has an impact on the Malaysian society and youth in particular. Fun stuff, and i'm looking forward to it.

If it can be arranged, i'll try to manage a delayed webcast of the event via the Volume of Interactions: Audio. At the very least, you should be able to expect regular "semi-live" updates from Oon and myself throughout the conference.

Lastly, i've been told that "Najah":http://www.najahnasseri.org/ (a chief reason why this topic has even made it onto this year's INFOSOC agenda - well done!), is still looking for a female blogger to be a part of the panel. If you're interested, please contact her at njhnssr@yahoo.com.

BFs and GFs

"This is a brilliant read":http://www.thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com/! If you've ever been in a serious relationship before, ever had a girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife or fiance, i believe you'll be able to relate immediately!

Summary: This is what happens when two people who are completely incompatible live together - hilarious! It definitely puts my own relationships in perpective. I've never had it that bad, but then again, i've never had to live with a woman.

Just a taste:

* She really over-reacts whenever she catches me wearing her underwear.
* 'I'm nearly there.' Yeah. Right.
* I eat two-fingered Kit-Kats like I'd eat any other chocolate bars of that size, i.e., without feeling the need to snap them into two individual fingers first. Margret accused me of doing this, 'deliberately to annoy her'.

Defining blogs, present and future

I received a very welcome email from "Oon Yeoh":http://www.malaysiakini.com/transitions/ concerning the definition of blogs - i believe Oon is writing a book on the topic, thus his extensive research and thought on the matter. He and i will be panelists during the "upcoming INFOSOC":http://www.nitc.org.my/infosoc/.

(Warning: Long posting follows)

------------------------

Oon Yeoh's original email:

Dear Aizuddin,

I want to share with you my further thoughts on blogs.

Let me say that your enthusiasm for blogs is very encouraging, although I think your interest in blogs is quite different from "Jeff":http://jeffooi.blogspot.com/ and me.

I first got interested in blogs because they were a way for me to learn more about a subject. For example, I visited "Dan Gillmor's blog":http://weblog.siliconvalley.com/column/dangillmor/ to find out about the latest in technology. As I have highlighted to you in early discussions and in many articles that I have written for The Edge, the original bloggers (people like "Dave Winer":http://www.scripting.com/ for example) were techies that wanted to share links with other liked-minded individuals. The fact that they appended commentaries and opinions were secondary and peripheral. The main purpose of their blogs was to share links.

Labour Day

Its Labour Day, 1 May 2003. I did some "research for the origins":http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=labour+day+history&btnG=Google+Search of this holiday, and i couldn't really find anything concrete. Why is 1 May a national public holiday for Malaysia? I can tell you why it's a "holiday in UK and US":http://www.mayweek.ab.ca/history.html, but not Malaysia. Perhaps its for the same reason? Oh well. Not complaining - just happy to have the day off.

Well, not exactly a day completely off. Helped a friend with "her blog today":http://www.najahnasseri.org/ - installed "Movabletype":http://www.movabletype.org/ for her. Not exactly a brain-sapping job, but its earned me a meal nonetheless. Can i request for a dim sum lunch at the "Mandarin Oriental":http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hotelsite/frameset.asp?pHotelId=21&pWebCatId=21000023&pLevel=2&pResvFlag=0&pNavTypeCd=6&pHotelSite=1&pUserSessionId=850682510? :)

Oh yeah. Since we're on the topic. I'll be more than happy to do the same for anyone who needs help with Movabletype (MT). I've fiddled around with it a lot, so while not really an expert, i know how to get around MT. If you need installation, or configuration, or template design or whatever - let me know (aizuddin@aizuddindanian.com). In exchange: lunch or dinner (don't eat much nowadays since "i'm on my diet":http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/archives/000337.html) or "something from my wishlist":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/registry-address-select-done/2VRAWESJ3JS3N/104-7335650-7602344. A favour for a favour. A gift for a gift. No harm in that, eh?

When we can't let go

Bad shit happens in our lives. Sometimes, really, really bad shit. Horrendous, terrible, unfortunate, shite. And more often than not, we are responsible for it, or at least we should have been able to see it coming and avoid it. But we don't, we keep on going, oblivious to the clear and present danger, oblivious to the consequences. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!

Why do we make mistakes we should be able to avoid? Because we are human beings and we are prone to any one of "Dante's Seven Deadly Sins":http://www.rushman.org/seven/.

# "Pride":http://www.rushman.org/seven/pride.html
# "Avarice & Greed":http://www.rushman.org/seven/greed.html
# "Envy":http://www.rushman.org/seven/envy.html
# "Wrath & Anger":http://www.rushman.org/seven/anger.html
# "Lust":http://www.rushman.org/seven/lust.html
# "Gluttony":http://www.rushman.org/seven/gluttony.html
# "Sloth":http://www.rushman.org/seven/sloth.html

It hurts to look back at these errors. It hurts even more when these mistakes come to the present to haunt you.

Social

www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from adic88. Make your own badge here.


Find me
on Google+

Skype Meâ„¢!

Follow AizuddinDanian on Twitter

Powered by Movable Type 5.12

DOT.ME

You're visitor number Traffic

Subcribe to this blog
Add to Google

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2003 is the previous archive.

June 2003 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.