Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just get an iPhone

iPhone will taken the mobile world by storm. In fact it already does.

This post is for those people who doesn't want to get an iPhone.

I am not going to get an iPhone, the reasons I already stated here.

There are some people telling me that they don't want to get an iPhone because everyone else is having an iPhone. If that's the only reason, I suggest just get an iPhone.

iPhone is just like your iPod, Everyone is having an iPod, will you get an mp3 player from S brand, or C brand? No you will just get an iPod.

If you have other reasons not to get an iPhone, so be it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Starhub prepaid mobile data plan

Singapore has cheap mobile data access plan, one of the cheapest in this region.

I found this Starhub prepaid mobile internet plan, MaxMobile Prepaid. This is a SGD12 prepaid card, I am suggesting this mobile internet plan because it is flexible and affortable.

Flexibility. This is very important in marketing. With this Starhub internet prepaid plan, you have different choices with different price and rate. You can have 1 hour, 1 day, 3 day or 5 day plan. You can check the rate listing from the website.

Low cost. If you choose the 3 days plan is SGD 3.33 per day (SGD 10 for 3 days), 5 days plan is SGD 3 per day (SGD 15 for 5 days). This is cheap compare with other countries, even with other mobile operator offer here now. If you compare with other post paid mobile Internet package, Starhub cheapest package is SDG 14 per month (but it is postpaid).

Easy. You can get the prepaid card from Starhub service center and some franchise grocery store. Just choose your package and send the SMS code to activate. To top up you can use the top up card or top up through Internet.

Fair usage policy. The policy set a data size limit as most mobile operator does. The limit is 2.2 Gigabytes per day, the usage provided is more than enough, no need to worried about the access limit.

If you have a short trip in Singapore, and you need to access internet with your netbook, this MaxMobile Prepaid will be a good choice.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mobile Bridge Alliance

The first thing I do when I was in Singapore is to get myself a prepaid SIM card, roaming is just too costly for me.

There are 3 mobile operator in Singapore, Singtel, MobileOne and StarHub. I just simply get Singtel, the service center is the first to appear in front of me. Later I found out that Singtel is a member of Bridget Alliance. This is the first time I know about Bridge Alliance.

What is Bridge Alliance? Bridget Alliance is a alliance form by few mobile operators in Asia Pacific region. Since both Singtel and Maxis are members, I can top up Singtel with Maxis.

My Singtel prepaid card call Hi!Card. How to top up Hi!Card? Here is a FAQ, you need to purchase a Singtel top up card, or you go to a Singtel service center for top up. If you are outside of Singapore how do you purchase the Singtel top up card? You can ask your Singapore friend do it for you, or there is an easier way if you are in Kuala Lumpur. You just go to the Maxis HQ just beside KLCC, you can do the top up there, because Maxis and Singtel are members of Mobile Bridge Alliance.

This is part of the list of Mobile Bridge Alliance members (there is a total of 11 by now):

Malaysia - Maxis
Singapore - Singtel
Taiwan - Taiwan Mobile
(台灣大哥大)
Australia - Optus

The full list of the 11 members can be found here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yes I use Google Chrome browser

When I show my HP mini to an IT friend, he says, "Hei! You use Google Chome!".

Yes, I am using Google Chrome, because Google Chorome design suit my style. I prefer a simple user interface, without much toolbar, free more space for browsing display as much as possible.

Did you notice Google Chome does not have a menu bar, unlike most of the applications, the menu access is just the 2 icons at the right side of the url address bar. The status bar is always hidden at the bottom, it only appear at the bottom left corner to display url and other status information when necessary.

Google Chrome use tab browsing as most of the advance browser did. The tab control don't occupied a horizontal space as most of the browser did, it make use of the standard Windows title bar to put in its tab control.

Since the HP mini (1000) has a 1024x600 display resolution, smaller than the standard 1024x768 display resolution. Google Chrome's neat and cleaner design is just nice for netbook Internet browsing.

(Google is pushing Chrome browser to Mac users)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Huawei broadband modem on Snow Leopard

Finally I get it work on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

I have an USB broadband modem which came with the broadband subscription, is a Huawei E160. Unfortunately the software came with the modem, doesn't work in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

You need to download the latest software from Huawei support here, select Download - Software, choose Software - For Mac OS X 10.6 on the left.

There are 3 software available:

1. Dashboard installer.
This is the installer but it doesn't include the Mobile Partner software.

2. Mobile Connect driver

This driver works with OS X 10.6.

3. Huawei UMTS Dashboard
This is the Mobile Partner software.

Step 1: Install the Mobile Connect driver

You may need to reboot if you are replacing the old driver.

You can check for the old driver exist before install the new driver. The driver will be located at:

Mac HD/System/Library/Extensions/HuaweiiDataCardDriver.kext
Mac HD/Library/Modem Scripts/HUAWEI Mobile Connect - 3G Modem

Step 2 (optional): Dashboard

Is a software to help you to install the Mobile Connect software. You need Mobile Partner software mounted before install this software.

Step 3: Install Mobile Partner software (Huawei UMTS Dashboard)

You may already have a Mobile Partner, then you don't need to install.

mobile connect
Mobile Connect software, should be written in Java


The old software call Mobile Partner, the newer Mobile Connect software is written in Java. The new software response a bit slow, just be patient.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

No iPhone for me, not now

Most of my friends thought that I will get an iPhone. No, I have no plan to get an iPhone, for a few reasons:

1. I am not an Apple fan. (You might not agree with me)

2. Is still costly. I am not heavy mobile phone users, so there is no good package for me.

3. Battery life. I am a light user, I don't have a lot of phone calls, but if I use it to surf net and watch movie, the battery life might not last for my daily usage.

No doubt, iPhone is a very good smart phone. I strongly recommended to get one.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What netbook expected in Pikom PC Fair 3 2009

What do you expect in this PC Fair (3)?

I am expecting netbook.

1. HP
HP mini 311. The number one on my list, it came with nVidia ION chipset, it is not a 3D graphic chipset, but it has hardware HD video decoder, can perform HD (1080p) video playback on your Atom netbook. It came with 1Gb on board ram, expandable to 3Gb.

2. Dell
Dell mini 10v. Personally I am not interested in Dell, but this budget netbook is Chrome OS ready.

3. Samsung
Samsung Go N310. The most attracting selling point of this netbook is its battery life. Ads say up to 11hrs (or 9hrs).

4. Acer
Acer Aspire Timeline series. It is a notebook (not netbook), thin, slick design, long battery life (as long as 9hrs), it is using low voltage cpu eg. SU9400.

Acer Aspire One. One of the best selling netbook from Acer, but no surprise.

5. Lenovo
May be can take a look at IdeaPad S10-2.

6. Toshiba
Toshiba always has nice looking, price competitive netbook.

7. Sony
Sony VAIO W or P series, but their ads sucks.

8. ASUS
Asus has release many models since the first netbook EeePC 701. The latest should be T91, a touch screen netbook, just like the Tablet PC, but much cheaper. A Table PC will cost 3 times more than this EeePC T91.

I have seen this T91, not so exciting for me. I prefer 1008HA (SeaShell)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Microsoft "New Efficient" (Windows 7) event at KLCC

Just came back from Microsoft Windows 7 event. Other than Windows 7, Microsoft introduce Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. I am just interested in Windows 7 only.

The first session is from 9am to 11.30am, more on marketing talk, a bit lengthly. Microsoft partners and a few of their customers talk about the success case on implementing these few new software system.

Windows 7 is easy to use, easy to deploy, with advance power management software, and a few others advantages. I will not believe it until I try it myself, luckily everyone who return back the evaluation form will get a Windows 7 90 days evaluation copy.

Everyone likes free gift, technical people are responsive with free gift.

Q&A with free gift
Correct answer came with a free gift
(when is my turn?)


Why? Because technical people (including software developer, administrator, network engineer, support...) are poor. Long working hours, short break, a lot of work, but very little pay. So technical people have to try their luck at technical company's public event.

Luckily these technical company are generous, they give out books, bags, software, training vouchers, computer mouse and NOTEBOOKS! Really they give out few notebooks as free gift this time. You register the event, you are entitle for lucky draw, you pass back feed back form, get lucky draw, you tweet (about the event), you get lucky draw, you answer question, you get free gift.

There are free gifts, free drinks, unfortunately there is no food provided, no breakfast, lunch or refreshment. This is the only IT event that make me feel really hungry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rely on contract is old business style

I want to terminate my P1 Internet service before my one year contract end, because I experience line drop problem and unable to connect Internet with the P1 service. One of the supervisor at P1 HQ refuse to help me, and gave me only 2 choices, which make me feel like being threated. Is either I pay $299 (I suppose is the modem price), or wait till they check my network problem. (story here)

Contract is to protect the consumer or the service provider? The business style to use contract to tie up customer is so old fashion.

P1, Maxis broadband has contract, so I choose DiGi broadband.

I choose DiGi broadband because their package is flexible. For my DiGi broadband package, if I terminate the service before the one year contract, I just need to pay for the modem (which came with the package) in prorated, and not the full amount or all the subscription fees for the rest of the months till contract expired.

You must think that without a contract, is not able to tie up customer for a period of time, is true. Recently I am thinking to terminate the DiGi broadband and subscribe to another package, but not P1 or Maxis. I am thinking to subscribe to another DiGi broadband package, which is cheaper.

Sometimes contract do not attract customer, but keep customer away. Provide a better service should be the more appropriate way to keep the customer.

If the provider can provide me a good service, why I bother to change?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

P1 upload test error

Test the P1 network this morning.

P1 download speed is fast but upload speed is 2!?

upload speed is 2
P1 upload problem this morning


Later it shows upload test error, may be time out.

upload test error
P1 upload test error


I notice, modem indicator has turned red.

iPod beginner buying guide 2009 Q4

Recently there are some people asking me, is it worth buying the new iPod nano (with FM and Video recording)? Which iPod should I buy? First, you always ask yourself what do you need? What is your budget?

There are 4 type of iPod model, iPod classic, touch, nano and shuffle.

iPod classic. Hard disk base, big and looks bulky, store up to 40 thousand songs. You can sync almost every mp3 you have into this iPod. Most people will not carry such a large music library with them.

iPod nano. Apple just launch its 5th generation of iPod nano. This is the most common model which comparable to other mp3 players available on the market.

The iPod nano size is like a chocolate bar, easy to carry around, the price tag is higher than average. This new iPod nano came with FM tuner (first in iPod history), video recording and pedometer. iPod nano is capable to playback movie as well, but I find it a little too small for movie and photo display.

iPod shuffle has been criticized badly by their competitors when it was launched, because it doesn't have a display (and FM). The cheapest China made mp3 player came with a display. Shuffle is very small and is good for workout.

Sometimes you will find that it was given as a free gift when you purchase your LCD TV or blu-ray player.

iPod touch. If you just using iPod for mp3, iPod shuffle and iPod nano is good enough, if you need a portable media player (for watching movie and photos), you need an iPod touch.

The iPod Touch is like the iPhone without the phone function. The iPod touch has an (updated) 8G model, and the new 32G and 64G model. There is no 16G available, the new 32G is cheaper than the previous 16G version, and the new 32G came with earphones with remote mic which cost about RM129.

The new iPod touch (32G and 64G version) is worth buying, and yes, it is very expensive, you can buy a netbook with this price, but there is no other products come close to iPod touch (except iPhone). Or may be you can wait for another 12 months to the next Apple music event to get a better offer.

iPod came with different model and different price. My opinion all iPod are price above average. It depends on your budget and your need.

Personally I prefer iPod Touch, but for iPod beginners may start from nano or shuffle. Or you can try to ask an iPod shuffle (or nano) as a free gift when you buy your new LCD TV.

Monday, November 16, 2009

MNP Rashomon version

MNP is Mobile Number Portability, allow mobile user to switch from one mobile network to another mobile network without changing the number including the prefix (eg. 012, 016, 019...)

"Rashomon" ( 羅生門 ) is a movie by lengendary Jananese director Akira Kurosawa ( 黑澤明 ). The movie is about a curious murder case, all people involved in the case are giving a different story of their own.

MNP has started more than a year, but mobile users are still confused with it, since there is not much benefits from switching one network to another network, MNP response is not well received.

I have a main and sub line to switch to another mobile operator as sub line, but I get different answers from mobile operator, dealers and MCMC on how to do the MNP.

For sure, I can not switch just one of the line from the main or the sub line. All parties are giving the same confirmed answer, but other answers are just confusing.

Some told me I can not switch my main and sub line as a sub line of another network.

Some said is possible, but I need to switch as pre-paid, then convert it to post paid.

Some said I don't even need to switch as pre-paid, direct convert it as sub line will do.

I don't know which is the right answer, I didn't use MNP.

This time I try to do it again, the dealer told me that I can split the original main and sub line to two different account, is just easy. I have double check this solution for me, so I just gave it a try.

The mobile operator support call me this afternoon, the MNP is not successful, because the 2 accounts are still under the same name, even it was splitted.

You think my case is complicated? The mobile operators' billing system is hundred times more complicated than my case here. If they can handle their billing system, why not my case?

Someone must have done something wrong, I have to find out myself later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The discounted cabin service of AirAsia budget flight

"now everyone can fly", is true.

No doubt, AirAsia is popular and with a branded name, for its low air fare to fly. When you are thinking of Air Flight, most people will think of AirAsia, first is to check their air fare. For those who don't fly, you can fly now. For those who fly, they fly more often with AsiaAsia. I find it almost unbelievable, travel by Air may be cheaper than travel by bus.

Recently I have the pleasure to fly with AirAsia, I am a little bit disappointed with their cabin services. Those who have fly with AirAsia recently, should agree with me. The first experience is, the flight attendance are so careless that she split the left over milo drink on my friend clothes, she did apologized but my friend complain to me that she didn't help him to clean up the mess.

The second experience is I am travelling with another 2 friends and AsiaAsia. We have pre-ordered the food, but the food was not delivered earlier as usual, but they start selling food to the others in the cabin. Since the food is not ready for us yet, my hungry and thirsty friend requested (to buy) a drink, but the air hostess told him politely that he can't because food trolley cart has just pass by (a few steps) and we have to wait till they came back. I have written this down in the feed back form, but so far there is no reply or response from AirAsia.

I ask my friends who travel more often with AirAsia, is the cabin service that poor? They answer, yes, as usual. My experience told me that the air hostess service is the best service I can found, it is as good as those high class restaurant, but the new experience on AirAsia cabin change my mind, the service was discounted together with the ticket price.

This is about working attitude. In service sector, like hotel, restaurant or bank, provide a good service is the basic thing. Is not how much the customer pay for it, as long as you getting paid by the company, you are responsible to do a good job. Even is a free service, you should do it well. Never heard of such thing happen?

The free and open source Firefox browser, is much better than many commercialize browser.

Hopefully AirAsia will improved and do not set a bad example for the other service sector.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My last P1 bill rebate is 330

Since I have experience with P1 network problems for more than 2 weeks time, P1 offer me a one month rebate for October. I shouldn't trust them anymore, because I have bad experience with them. They always says they are going to give you some rebates to cover your lost for the days that you are not able to access to the Internet, but they never keep their promise. (read here)

This time they did gave me some rebate, is 3.30.

p1 rebate
My P1 rebate is 3.30


Monday, November 09, 2009

P1 CEO Michael Lai

Sin Chew Daily has a 2 page coverage story and interview with P1 CEO Michael Lai (賴敬達) at Fortune Investment Weekly section.

Since P1 already has an aggressive advertisement campaign for these 2 months, is this interview necessary? If Michael Lai has free time, he should pay more attention to those P1 users' complain (here, here, here, here and here).

Michael Lai is a high profile CEO, I doesn't know much about him, but I believe he is good, in business or a professional manager. Before joining P1, Michael is the Marketing Director of Oracle Malaysia, Senior Vice President of Branding and Market Development for Celcom, CEO of TM Net. Michael is familiar with the telecommunication and internet broadband market. You can look at Michael's profile on Green Packet website.

You still don't know who is Michael Lai?

DiGi girls
Michael in Bername news


streamyx ads
Streamyx ads strike back to P1


Michael Lai
Michael Lai, P1 CEO.

You can visit the post at low yat forum too.

P1 customer service not to serve the customer

P1 customer service is not to serve customer, but to protect the company.

Company staff is responsible to defend their company, because company pay their salary, but for the P1 case since all the subscribers pay monthly subscription fees, they should treat the subscribers better.

Sunday I drop by at P1 HQ (again) to terminate the Internet line. The supervisor keep telling me that I can not terminate the P1 line because I have a 1 year contract with P1. Since P1 is not working, as well I terminate it. After bargain for so long, the supervisor so sure that I can not terminate the line, but he is not sure that when my internet line problem can be solved.

The worst thing about the P1 customer service is their attitude. They are not there to solve your problem, at lease I don't feel it. The supervisor told me that if I insist to terminate the line now, they will charge me RM299. I just need to pay for another 2 month subscription, a total of RM198 till the contract end, it will be cheaper. They sounds like 'Dai Ko' and threaten the customer, by telling me that, you either let me check your problem or you pay us the RM299. Unbelievable.

(If P1 can solve the problem, why my Internet network problem remain unsolved, after I reported my Internet problem?)

This is the worst case scenario, my P1 Internet line has been down for almost a month, they was not able to solve the problem, they can't even send a technician in a week time after my problem reported (and their promise is in 4 days time), the collection department keep chasing you to pay the outstanding payment. If you want to terminate in this case, you will be threaten.

Come on P1, you can do better than this.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Streamyx guy solve my P1 problem

I complained about my P1 problem a few days back, they suppose to send in a technician in four days time. Today is the third or the forth day, but there is not sign of any technician coming in to solve the problematic P1 network problem.

The P1 technical people call me yesterday, ask me to reset the modem, place the modem in different place, towards the direction closer to the nearest base station, is still doesn't work. If I push the modem further a bit toward the base station direction, it will be put outside of the house. No joke.

Luckily the Stream guy came a little bit "earlier" today and solve our P1 problem. How? I think you all know how, just replace the P1 with Streamyx.

streamyx ads
Streamyx ads strike back to P1

That will end my experience with P1 in 2009. I started using it on January 2009 with one year contract. Is still one or two months before the contract end, but I doubt P1 dare to ask for the 2 months remaining payment.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

DiGi Get Connected roadshow at Suria KLCC 2009

DiGi is running a Get Connected roadshow from 4th to 8th November at Suria KLCC. I drop by and take a look at what they are offering. DiGi always came out with good offering, but I still want to complain a few things here.

1. DiGi gift. DiGi can spend millions of dollars on newspaper, TV commercial. I don't believe they are so stingy on their mystery gift. If you receive the following SMS you are entitle for 1 (if still available):

"DiGi Get Connected Road Shw@KLCC Center Court on 4-8 Nov09. 1st 300 customers to show this SMS@redemption counter will walk away with a mystery gift. T&C Apply."

Guess what is the mystery gift? Is a DiGi door hanger. What type of door hanger? Is like those you found in the hotel room, hanging on the door handle with "Do not disturb" writing on it. No joke, that is the mystery gift with limited supply.

Come on DiGi, You can do better than that.

The following are all about the wrong information that DiGi representative have given to me in the morning. Since I have bad experience with it, I double check the information, and then I go back to them in the afternoon, they admitted they have made some mistakes. Their excuse is, they are just on the first day of the roadshow.

I am so mad, not just for the wrong information, but when I ask the DiGi representative to double check some of my doubts. Few of them double check for me, few of them didn't. They still came back with some wrong information for me. May be the DiGi package are too complicatied for them to understand.

2. The Nokia 2730 does support 3.5G. I am interested with the free Nokia 2730 phone which came with the new subscription. One of their representative told me that it is a 3G phone, so I ask does it support 3.5G? He says no. I have checked the mobile88 website, it says yes for 3.5G (HSPDA). The representative insist the answer is no, because he is checking another website.

Later I check it on the website, Nokia official page says WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, wikipedia says is a 3.5G cell phone.

3. The offer for 3G Internet Unlimited monthly 58 is RM48 not RM58, the offer end 31 December. When I was informed that the 3G Internet is RM58, I ask the promoter, isn't RM48? The promoter says RM48 is for DiGi broadband, DiGi 3G is RM58. I though I just get the 2 package price wrong. If you are confused with DiGi broadband and 3G service, try read broadband vs 3G.

When I go back to the roadshow in the afternoon, she told me that she just made a mistake.

4. Broadband data usage is not review in OCS (Online Customer Service) website. Start from the day I subscribe to DiGi broadband, I was told that I can check my data usage in OCS, but I never find it there.

Since they keep saying that I can check my data usage in OCS, I just want them to show me how. Then they came back the real answer to me, no, you can not check your data use in OCS.

5. You though I am complaining no pretty girls there? No, I don't. I am really tired today.

DiGi girls
Training time at DiGi roadshow.


DiGi broadband vs DiGi 3G

DiGi broadband and 3G are 2 different services, most people are confused. This is the information that I have collected these 2 days, hopefully can help you to have a better understand the 2 different services.
DiGi has no 3G services, the DiGi 3G is just a marketing term. The DiGi 3G is a 3.5G (HSPA, High Speed Packet Access or some name it HSDPA, D means download), which is faster, an improvement to the 3G services. In general you can call 3.5G and 3G as 3G services, but DiGi 3.5G services only provide data access. You can not have conference call with DiGi 3G (3.5G) services. If you have a phone which only support 3G, it will not work with DiGi network.
To help the consumer have a better understanding on DiGi broadband and 3G, DiGi people will tell you that broadband is for your desktop access to the Internet, 3G is for your phone to access to the Internet. If you just normal people and doesn't want to know more, you should stop here.
Further question, can I use my desktop or notebook connect to the DiGi 3G services? The answer is yes. You can place your SIM card (with 3G service activated) in to GSM modem which support 3.G (eg. Huawei 160e), or you can use your mobile phone as a dial-up modem for your notebook, it works. The only thing missing is you will not be able to receive phone call while accessing the 3G services with your notebook.
How about the other way? Will it works if I place the broadband SIM card into the phone? According to the DiGi representative, it works as long as your phone support 3.5G services, but you can not make calls with it. Since I do not have a mobile phone which support 3.5G, I have not tested with it.
If you access to DiGi broadband web page, you will notice there are 2 data services call broadband and 3G, hope my explanation can help you to make your choice.

Monday, November 02, 2009

P1 Sudah Potong advertisement

"你割左沒 ?" (Cantonese)
"Sudah poting?" (Bahasa Malaysia)
"Cut already (you Internet line)?"

I just go to P1 HQ to complain about the Internet connection again.

P1 Already cut ads
P1 lastest ads posted at the HQ building

The latest P1 advertisement campaign has been running for about a month time, it should come to an end. I didn't notice it at the beginning, I first know it from my friend. The advertisement is everywhere, on TV, radio, full page coverage on newspaper, billboard...is hard to ignored it.

Their slogan is, "Sudah potong?" (Cut already?). It refers to cut the fix Internet (Streamyx) line, and switch to wireless P1. The slogan may refer to circumcision as well. The ads are impressive, it capture public attention, but I think the the ads are rude, low class and inappropriate. You can talk about it with your MSN friends, put it on your non-official blog, but put up such ads to the public is not necessary.

I go to the P1 HQ not to complain about the advertisement, but the Internet connection (again!). I am having a connection problem for more than 2 weeks time. P1 representative told me that they are upgrading the network at my area, that causes slow network connection. The problem is not just slow, I can't even connect to the Internet at all, for almost 2 weeks time.

P1 should save some of their marketing budget and assign it to their technical department to improve their services. If P1 provide good services, fast Internet connection, I can advertise for P1 free of charge here.

If the problem continue, I have to "Cut now", not the wire line, but the wireless WiMax line. P1 agree to send technician to look at the network problem in a few days time. More stories after three days later.

Is WiMax a good business investment?

3 companies were fined a total of 3.8 millions for failing to provide the required WiMax network coverage

WiMax is a technology like WiFi, but has wider coverage range, since they use different protocol, you can not use a wifi device (eg. netbook) connected to WiMax service. The WiFi (the wireless internet that we use at our home and internet cafe) has a shorter coverage range of about 100m, WiMax coverage range is counted by kilometers.

Don't be too excited to get a WiMax license in Malaysia here. Before you start making money, you have to invest tons of money in and you are not sure when you can collected the money back. This is still not the worst case scenario.

So far there are 4 WiMax license issued, to Green Packet (P1 WiMax), Redtone, YTLE (YTL e-Solutions) and Asiaspace. The first three companies are public listed company, only Asiaspace is not public listed, most people are not familiar with Asiaspace. Each company is responsible to provide WiMax service for at lease 25 percent coverage, I assume these 4 companies share the 100 percent coverage, that's how MCMC came out with the 25 percent coverage figure.

P1 (Packet One, backup by Intel) has started to provide WiMax services in August 2008, and P1 is the first to roll out WiMax service in South East Asia. The other three companies are not ready to provide WiMax services yet (I remember Asiaspace did provide WiMax services). Redtone, YTLE and Asiaspace was fined a total 3.8 millions Ringgit Malaysia by MCMC (Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission) for failing to meet the required network coverage. YTLE was fined 1.9 millions, Asiaspace was fined 1.7 millions, Redtone was fined 200K.

Don't be too excited by getting a WiMax license, before these companies can provide WiMax sevices, they was fined millions of dollar. P1 has started WiMax service for slightly more than a year now, but the service quality is not good (read my previous post). Heavy investment in advertisement and marketing campaign may bring down Green Packet's profit too (financial report).

WiMax investment could be a money printing machine but it could be money burning machine too.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Apple iPod outsell us?

I work in a small mp3 player company.

Last week, the managing director call up all the senior manager and experience technical people for a meeting.

MD says, "I am wandering, why Apple iPod still selling better than ours. The cheapest iPod shuffle cost much more than our cheapest mp3 player, and it doesn't came with a display."

."This meeting is our brainstorm session, how we can increase our sales and revenue. Each one of you has to contribute at least one idea."

I say, "May be we should have more color choice for our mp3 player."

Another technical guy says, " We can package the mp3 player with portable speaker."

The marketing manager says, "I try to get a new marketing executive to run a campaign to promote our product, and already inform the HR to get new people in."

While the HR manager still have no ideas why she was in the meeting, "Oh! Yes. I have already place the online recruitment, but so far no good response."

The Finance Director say, "If we need more people to research on new product, or run new campaign, we need to look at our budget again..."

The other technical guy and me, looking at each other. We know the answer in our mind, we need an iTunes.

It was 3 years ago, at the same meeting room, same topic, we propose to have a mp3 management software like iTunes, but much simpler. The first response from the previous MD is, "What iTunes? I thought we are talking about mp3 players here."

After we explain what iTunes is, we agree to allocate resources for it. Unfortunately after some discussion from the top management, we do not have the budget for it.

Since it was not in our KPI (Key Performance Indicator), we all just simply thrown out some ideas, write it down and end the brainstorm session.

While walking out from the meeting rooms and pass by some colleagues, I heard them talking with each other.

"This iTunes software is so easy and convenient to use, is even better than our own mp3 conversion software."

"Too bad, after I have updated to the latest version, it doesn't work with our mp3 player anymore."

...

I am not working in a company who make mp3 players. I just make up the story above, imagine myself working in Sony, Samsung or Creative Technology.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Some Apple and Newton history

This article stated that Newton PDA is Steve Jobs' failure ("most notorious failure, the Newton"), is totally wrong.

According to wikipedia, Newton development started at 1989 (Jobs already left Apple at that time), Apple CEO John Sculley is back behind the project. If you know Apple history well, Sculley was invited by Steve Jobs to join Apple, while he was a president of Pepsi Cola.

That is a legendary quote, Jobs ask Sculley, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?". It was the year 1983, Sculley join Apple.

Sculley and Jobs has conflicts on Apple's management, force Jobs to leave the Apple Computer in 1985. Sculley leave Apple in 1993, Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 after Apple bought over the NeXT Computer.

The Newton development was stop at 1998, the year after Steve Jobs came back to Apple again.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Maxis prepaid broadband 2009

I didn't notice that Maxis has their prepaid broadband too.

prepaid broadband
Maxis broadband go wireless

It comes with your hotlink SIM. 2 types of package:

1. Day plan (24 hours), RM8.
2. Week plan (7 days), RM25.

No contract, and modem provided.

Celcom, Digi and Maxis has prepaid broadband now. (*Digi is EDGE, no 3G services). Why prepaid broadband sounds so interesting? Is for flexibility, especially for travelers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Update iPhone OS 3.1

I just updated my iPod Touch 2G to OS 3.0, right before they release the OS 3.1 (about 1 week earlier). That means I have paid USD9.95 for for the update, if I just wait for another few more days, I can update to 3.1 directly and is cheaper by 50%, just USD4.95 (Hei! Apple, any rebate?). Upgrade from OS 3.0 to 3.1.1 is free.

What do I get for OS 3.0 update? It enable the bluetooth chips that already came with iPod Touch 2G, and it support stereo (A2DP) profile, spotlight search, and added a voice memo application. The are many applications eg. Twitterrific doesn't run well on OS 3.0, you need to update those application as well.

I though I may be lucky to get the bluetooth mic working, but it didn't. Bluetooth stereo headset with volume control is working fine, but the bluetooth mic is not working. I still need a wire earphone with remote mic, which works on iPod Touch 2nd generation or newer, it will not work on the first generation of iPod Touch. How do you differentiate the 1st and 2nd generation of iPod Touch? 2nd generation has volume control button at the side.

How about the 3rd generation of iPod Touch? The 8G version should be the old (2G) iPod Touch. The 32G and 64G version is the new 3rd generation iPod Touch, which will support VoiceOver and voice control. These new functions will not work on the 2nd generation or earlier. For the new 32G and 64G version, you will get a faster cpu and faster display software, good for gamers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

IT Planet at Ikano

I came back to the IT Planet at Ikano to check for Apple products, because I meet a responsible sales people there before, he is very helpful . I can not remember the sales people name and I didn't see him around this time. The sales people that I meet today, was not able to answer my questions properly, he need to check with other sales people every time I ask a question like price of ram upgrade and etc.

I am ok with it, because he looks like new. There is no other customer other than myself, there are 4 or 5 other sales people there, 1 of them busy doing stock check and others do nothing. None of them entertain me, other than this new sales guy, and checking the answer for me. May be they didn't notice there is a customer here. I left the shop after 10 minutes time.

Last week, I attended a sales talk seminar. The speaker quote a car sales representative, "Any customer walk into the show room, is a potential customer who may spend up to USD300K here.". The sales representative knows that if he/she serve the customer well, the customer will came back again, when the customer change car next time.

The IT planet is not just selling Apple products but other brand IT products as well. I have bought 2 products there before, that's why I go back to the same shop. Seems like I will not go back there again for a long long time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New DiGi Prepaid plan 2009

The new DiGi Prepaid plan sounds like a better plan than my post paid now. First is the 1 cent per SMS (digi network), once you use up RM1, it only cost you 1 cent per SMS for the rest of the day, but only to DiGi network, and talk time rate will be 12 cent per minutes (30s block) to all network. The rate is even cheaper than postpaid DG30 (20 cents per minutes), how could this happen?

New data access maximum is RM5 per day unlimited usage. This is even better for me, I was using PAYU (pay as you use) data plan which maximum cap at RM138 per month. As for my usage, I normally use up all the RM138 in one day time (then the rest of the month will be free). Since I am not using the data plan everyday, with the new data plan, I may save 30 percent of my cost.

The good thing about DiGi is they always has a flexible plan compare with other local telco companies. Too bad that I have already started to use my DiGi broadband.

If you are already a prepaid user, you may need to switch to the new DiGi prepaid, you can read the FAQ.

Note: Once you have switched to new DiGi prepaid, you can never switch back. If you are enjoying some special rate or features with your existing, plan, please think twice before you switch.

6. I am an existing subscriber under the Beyond/ Chat Plus plan. How do I switch to the new DiGi PrepaidTM
You can migrate from an older plan to the new DiGi PrepaidTM call plan via our self help channels (UMB, OCS, IVR). Please note you'll be charged a onetime fee of RM3.

To change call plan via *128#: Step 1: Type *128*7*2# and send
Step 2: Select 1 for DiGi PrepaidTM
Step 3: Select 1 to confirm and a one-off fee will be charged from main account

To change call plan via OCS: Step 1: Go to change call plan page
Step 2: Select DiGi PrepaidTM
Step 3: Upon confirmation, a one-off fee will be charged from main account

To change call plan via IVR: Dial 016 2211800 and follow the instructions

This new DiGi Prepaid launch on 15 July 2009.

Now we know how Joltid sue eBay

From TechCrunch report we know the story behind eBay-Skype.

Skype software base on an engine call Global Index own by Joltid, but Skype does not have the right to access Global Index source code, but Joltid license GI source code to Joost, the online web TV. GI is a peer to peer software which Skype base on to make Internet voice call.

Finally we know why Skype was not improved for pass few years, because Skype don't even own their core technologies.

I have a different view point on this. Skype has improve a lot in their software and service since the day I have registered, it still improving after eBay has bought it. May be it is just not good enough.

Other than voice and message, Skype has SkypeIn, SkypeOut (online number), SMS, call forwarding service. It was available on many platform like Windows, Mac, Linux, Windows Mobile, iPhone...

I am not sure why eBay bought Skype, may be just for the user base, so the core technology is not really important to them. I am sure eBay knows what they are getting, just found out that is a bad investment after few years time, eBay management team should be responsible for it.

May be Skype just lack of an innovative leader. Why eBay make such a mistake that to acquire Skype without their core technology? May be just because eBay is not good at software business? If eBay sell Skype, this is good for users like us, because this piece of software could be ruin in eBay's hand.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Skype co-founders sue eBay from selling Skype

The founders of Skype are using a copyright infringement to stop eBay to sell Skype. The VoIP technology (was name as "global index") use in the Skype was own by Joltid, which is still own by Skype founders.

eBay bought over Skype for USD$2.6 billion at 2005. Four years later eBay decided to sell Skype to a group of investor.

Skype co-founders left Skype (and eBay) to focus on their new Internet TV startup call Joost at 2007. There are news and rumors that the Skype co-founders (Zennström and Janus Friis) interested to buy back Skype from eBay, seems like eBay get a better deal and sell Skype to a group of investor lead by Silver Lake.

Another interesting thing is, Joost remove Mike Volpi as chairman and then Volpi left Joost. Volpi was Index Ventures CEO before he join Skype and Joost, Index Ventures is an investor of Skype and Joost, Index Ventures is also one of the buyers of Skype now, it doesn't sounds like a co-incidence right? (read here and here)

Skype is a software phone service to all users to make free calls through Internet. Skype started at year 2003 and getting popular for its good voice call quality. Skype is available on few operating system like Windows, Linux, Mac OS and some other mobile platform.

Skype is still a very potential software and services.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nokia OneConnectedWorld 2009

This is a half day seminar at Hilton KL, Sentral. Briefing for developers on Nokia's OVI online store which was launched this May. Nokia showcase their new N97 mini and X6 mobile phones as well. N97 mini is a smaller version of N97, X6 is a replacement for 5800.

The conference

I arrive there 1.30pm, but I only join the conference later, because I was visiting the showcase room. Roslan from MDeC introduce the MSC ICON program. Nazrin from Cradle Fund says is the best year for developer, you can get funding from Cradle fund. Just register and submit your idea through the website.

Doesn't know how to write the proposal? Just answer the few questions on the website, will help you generate the proposal.

Cradle fund started in 2003, by Minister of Finance, Malaysia.

The showcase

N97 mini
Nokia N97 mini.

Nokia showcase their new N97 mini and X6, they bring along their partners in Malaysia and vendors from other countries (like Singapore), to join the showcase.

Media. Harian metro, i-SinChew and theStar is there. Nokia provided the software and the news media company just need to provide the content. I heard the news were provided in RSS format. The software by abigmob interactive.

MSC and Cradle. If you have any question on getting funded, they are there to answer your question. They ask me to refer to Gary from Nokia for OVI related matters.

N97 mini Raoul edition. This is a limited edition of Nokia N97 mini by Raoul. Raoul is a fashion company.

Raoul
Raoul.

Other. Games by breakdesign.com, business by 2C2P (Singapore), lifestyle by groovymap, starhub and cellcity. Starhub is telco from Singapore, but when I approach their booth, they didn't entertain me.


Demos

play games
Playing a game on N97, with the accelerometer sensor.

Axel Meyer
Axel Meyer from Nokia, Finland.

midomi
Nelson Wee demo Midomi application
Just hum or sing, will get you the song titles

What developers want?

I thought this is a developer briefing, but I think there are more friends from the news media than developers.

Developers would like to know, how to develop software for Nokia, and how easy it is. They mention about the SDK, but didn't demo how to use it.

Is wasted for those people fly all the way from Europe but just given a 15 to 20 minutes presentation.

Hilton KL
Nice view at Hilton KL.

Have tea break with a friend, chit-chat and enjoying the good view at the Hilton KL, Sentral.

Some better pictures, here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Angels from Toshiba at Comex September 2009

Comex at Suntec, Singapore, 10 to 13 September, level 1 to 6, admission is free.

Toshiba angels
Angels from Toshiba.


canon
Canon.


lenovo
Lenovo.


and finally:

Microsoft
Microsoft.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple 9 September Rock and Roll event

It's Only Rock and Roll

rock and roll

Apple has caught media attention in their every new announcement and event. Before this 'rock and roll' event started, I have google few hundreds of news. Just 2 hours before the event started, price cut (about 50 to 100) for iPod Touch, iPod nano and iPod Classic on Apple website, user tweet on it every minutes.

After the event, I found another few hundreds more news on Google talking about this Apple event.

What do you have in this Apple event?

Steve Jobs is back on the stage. After 6 months "leave of absence", Steve Jobs make his first public appearance. Welcome back Jobs, but no one will be there forever. Reuters reported an analyst pointed out that Jobs looks "frail".

You can check out some photos from here.

New features in iTunes. iTunes Genius is getting smarter, new features were introduced like Genius DJ, iTunes LP and live demo by Jeff Robin, VP of iTunes engineering. I heard that there are 9 new features on iTunes 9.

iPod. Slash price in a few iPod series, you can check out the latest price from Apple website. iPod shuffles come with more colors. iPod nano will have a video camera, but not the iPod Touch. This 5th generation of iPod nano will have a FM tuner and pedometer.

A remaster version of Beatles catalog was release on 9 September, but Beatles catalog is still not on iTunes yet.

There are people commented that, audience are disappointed for the pass few events, like Snow Leopard has "0" new features. I can not disagree that, we have been expected too much from Apple, and we should, so that Apple will keep innovating.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Write before Nokia OVI briefing for developers

As a developer, if you compare the mobile phones for Nokia and iPhone. iPhone has 2 type of hardware (iPhone and iPod Touch), 3 version of OS (may be you just need to take care the latest version). iPhone hardware has iPhone 1.0, 3G and 3GS, the later 2 are just with 3G enable and faster speed. Developer does not need to cater for different specification.

Nokia has wide range of phones from S40 series to S60 series, one or two of it has touch screen, the others do not, different screen size, button control... is complicated. I can't find my Nokia 2630 on OVI store, may be it was not supported, but the phone is just 1 year old.

Apple iTunes App Store has a close and strict strategy (as usual), because you can not install third party application without going through iTunes App Store (unless you jailbreak it). You can not simply upload an application without Apple's approval. The Google voice case is a good example, FCC step in and invest for the case.

Everyone is criticizing on Apple's strategy for its iTunes App Store, but all vendors are following Apple model and marketing plan. Google has Android Market, Microsoft has Windows Mobile Market, Palm has App catalog (for WebOS) and Nokia has OVI store.

ovi
OVI website. Not just the concept. The design looks like Apple website.
(The menu and navigation bar)

apple website


Palm OS is very successfully mobile platform without an application store, you can download third party application from other website like handango. It fails because Palm does not provide a stable software and good service.

iTunes is available on Mac and PC. Nokia has a good desktop application call PC Suite, and it only runs on PC. When Nokia will have a Mac Suite or Linux Suite? Nokia OVI Suite is the next version of Nokia PC Suite, which expected to have a Mac version, but not sure when it will be released.

Why follow Apple if you can not beat Apple. At the end, not everyone like Apple, right?

IBM Virtualization seminar

I just came back from IBM Virtualization seminar on 8 September.

IBM introduce their virtual machine and storage technologies. In simple words, is cloud computing.

These days, everyone talks about cloud computing. IBM claim that they have 40 years of experience in cloud computing, you can ignored that. Why we heard of cloud computing from Google, Amazon... and not IBM? It is just marketing talk, and cloud computing is marketing talk. Just show us what you have now, 40 years old technologies is much different from now.

Why cloud computing? Hardware is more powerful, with cheaper price, but cost doesn't go down, because administration cost shoot up. You need PowerVM (virtualization for AIX) and SVC (SAN Volume Controller).

The PowerVM is like a VMware. If you doesn't know what is a VMware, I will say PowerVM is a virtual machine, which share out the resources of a server to act like a few server virtually. IBM SVC can consolidate different type of storage system like SUN, EMC, NetApp, IBM XIV (sure) and others (list is here). SVC target for mid-sized business. IBM show us with a few live demo as well.

I am not going to comment much on their technologies, you can take a look at XIV Storage System, PowerVM and SVC.

It is a half day event, they provide good food and some freebies too.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

eBay sell Skype

Is almost four years later, eBay finally sell Skype to a group of investor lead by Silver Lake, other investment venture include a new venture by Marc Andreessen. eBay sell 65% Skype share for about $2 billion, which is a good price, compare with 2.6 billion acquire price in year 2005.

eBay want to sell Skype for a long time, there are rumors saying that Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom wanted to buy back Skype. It seems like a wrong for eBay, because after 4 years time, Skype doesn't really help eBay sales. When eBay buy Skype, eBay thought that their users may use Skype platform to discuss the buy/sell transaction.

Skype is a good product, when Skype first launched it was very popular for its good voice quality stream over through the Internet. Skype not just run on Windows, Mac and Linux desktop platform, it also run on mobile like Windows Mobile, Symbian and iPhone.

Skype has added other services including Skype in and Skype out (online number), so user can use Skype to dial a normal phone number, or receive call from a normal phone number (Skypein).

Skype is a very potential software platform and service, I think it just lack of a good lead. Skype have more competitors like Google Talk and voice chat from instant messenger.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apple talk August 2009

Is unavoidable to talk about Apple this year (actually for all these years). First Steve Jobs, the important man behind (and in-front) of Apple Corp., take six months "leave of absence" to fight with his recurrence cancer illness. Is so important to the public, investors and board of directors complain that Steve Jobs shouldn't hide his health condition, which is not just a bug bites or "hormone problem" that causes Steve Jobs' slim down.

(steve jobs looks thin, flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/plasticbag/2197013436/ )

Steve Jobs just came back from his medical leave, but still not shown his face in the public, especially not on WWDC event last June, which he usually give the opening keynotes.

Apple iPhone has a new version, it runs faster and with more features, like the missing "copy and paste" function which was asked by most of the users. This is the 3rd version since iPhone launched 2 years ago, the second iPhone was named 3G, so they name this iPhone 3GS, 'S' should be means of speed.

What's next? Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is going to be released on this Friday 28 August. The upgrade price from Leopard is just USD29, but a new version could cost more. Upgrade with iLife is is USD169, family pack is USD229. You can pre-order online now. As I know many of the developers and tester already running the new Snow Leopard (developer version) on their Mac.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Problematic Honda CVT gearbox

I did noticed, there are more Toyota Vios than Honda City on the road these days, even though people keep criticize the ugly Vios outlook. I am just comparing Toyota Vios and Honda City here because these two companies have a lot of supporters here.

I have heard from some peole telling me, don't buy the Honda City, because the problematic gearbox will cause your wallet to bleed a lot. The gearbox will give you problems within few years time, it cost about RM20k to change the gearbox, which is about 25 percent cost of the car. This is ridiculious. Most people choose to sell the car than just replacing the gearbox.

The Honda CVT gearbox problem refer to the blog and forum here, here, detail description of the problem here and here

The problematic gearbox is refering to the Honda CVT gearbox. What is CVT gearbox? A Continuously Variable Transmission gearbox, in simple words it smoothly change the gear, so you don't really feel it. Handa use CVT gearbox (not just) in their Honda City 2003-2005 model, which is a 7-speed gearbox.

Not all CVT gear box will have problem. Nissan is another car manufacturer who use CVT gearbox, but their CVT is a different technology call x-CVT, which has good comment on Internet. Honda gearbox have more problems probably because the technogy is not matured enough.

There are people complain on the Internet, why use a unmatured technology? Because time to the market is important. May be the top management under estimate the problem, obviously who ever make the decision has made a mistake.

While I was doing software development, it happen many times that even we know there are some improvements that we can do to the code, but we still need to release the software earlier? Why? Simply because time to the market is important.

Surprisingly some big IT company will do the same thing like Honda did, push an unmatured product to the market. I have used a batch of HP netserver during year 2001 which give me a lot of problems, the engineer take weeks to solve it. Imagine you are paying 20k to 100k for such an unmatured product.

Apple and SUN are the two companies who selling good and reliable products, including both hardware and software. Even you pay a higher price for it, you fell worth paying it, it does not mean all other products are not good. I just share my experience here.

I heard Honda City has used a new gearbox to replace the CVT gearbox, which is 5-speed automatic, the old one is 7-speed. You better check if you plan to buy a Honda City.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I like P2 than P1

Is a painful process to talk with P1, the WiMax provider.

Before you sign up, they can promise you anything, but after you sign up, and you have problem with the network, you can't even get through their help line. It could be the same and common to all broadband providers here.

Before you sign up with P1, they allow you to trial for two weeks time, for a fee of $50, this is reasonable as for the $99 per month package. I heard from friends and Internet forum, the first two weeks trial will always fast and stable. After the trial period, is not always the case.

For my case, network problem (line drop) only happen after four months time. I call to the help line, they promise to give me some rebate for the few days that I was not able to connect to the Internet. The line drop problems still happen very frequently.

I decided to hold on my payment till P1 solve the network problem. The collection department call me personally, ask me for the late payment. I told them I am having network problem, they say network problem is the responsibility of the other department, they just call me to remind my late payment, but they will forward my problem to the responsible department. I received a dead line notice after this, but my broadband problem remain unsolved.

I just go to their HQ in a Saturday morning, and told their customer service that I am having network problem. First they check that I have reach the 20G usage quota (What! I don't even know that there is a 20G quota), so my bandwidth will be limited. The problem is I can't even connect at all! Later they found out that my line has been suspended, because I didn't made my payment. That's is one day before the payment dead line!

I keep complaining to the customer service, I didn't get a good service from P1, and P1 want to collect the full payment without solving my network problem. I encounter line drop very frequent and sometimes can't even connect to the internet. Seems like the earlier complain through the phone call doesn't seems to appear in their report system!

I still experience line drop and connection problem, after I clear my payment. I go to the HQ customer service for the second time, and inform them my problem. Their reply is, I have reach the 20G usage quota. After talk talk talk for a while, they told me that P1 network at my area is congested (Wow! New excuse). I look at the slogan that they put on the wall, "we are here to listen". Yes, I think they just listen and no action. I request for a rebate, and they agree. This is the second time they have agreed to give me rebate.

The network support give me a call, few days later. They told me that my problem is caused by the congested network in my area (Yes! I already know the problem), it will take them about one week time to solve the problem (they did solved it). My complain is, I can not use my Internet and I still have to pay for it. They agree (again) to give me rebate, this is the third time in my record.

Is already two months time after P1 offer me the first rebate, but I still don't see any rebate on my bill. I really feel very tired talking to P1. The holding company of P1, Green Packet just reported a higher net loss of RM27.9 million for the secod quater of 2009, compare with the net loss of RM4.9 million of the same quater last year.

Green Packet posted a higher net loss of RM27.9 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to the same quarter last year of a net loss of RM4.9 million.

In contrast, revenue grew 151.5% to RM56.5 million in the quarter.

The company said the net loss in the quarter was mainly attributed to heavy promotional activities and subscriber acquisition costs for the broadband business.

Is a heavy investment in telecommunication and broadband business, I can understand their loss, but they still need to improve their service. I really prefer P2 than P1, at lease P2 have the sexy Rachel Nichols.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Facebook acquired FriendFeed

Facebook just acquired FriendFeed, the announcement was made on Monday, news are everywhere over the Internet. Since Facebook and FriendFeed are both privately held company, the acquisition amount was not reveal. According to TechCrunch, the acquisition cost about 50 million in cash and stock. (please refer to Wall Street Journal, photos from Paul)

Before Facebook acquired FriendFeed, there are rumors about Facebook offer 500 million to buy Twitter (mainly in stock, refer here). FriendFeed is providing streaming status data, similar with what Twitter does.

I always like to emphasize that Facebook and Twitter are both community website, but they are different. Observation is Facebook becomes more and more Twitter-like website, or may be FriendFeed-like website.

FriendFeed is a successful startup, it was co-founded by former Google employees. I doesn't know what will happen after Facebook acquired FriendFeed, but is a good move for Facebook, and a good time for FriendFeed to pull out as a standalone feed aggregator.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Honda Advanced Technology Roadshow

Honda is running a roadshow to promote their car technology (eg. i-VTEC, Hybrid) at 1 Utama Shopping Centre (new wing) - ground floor. It started today, the event will be on all day (10am to 10pm), from 5th to 9th (Sunday).

Personally I like the Civic hybrid and the new Honda City. The Civic hybrid is an environmental friendly car, combine combustion engine and electric power system. In simple word, it uses both petrol and electric to power the car, so it consume less petrol.

The Honda Civic Hybrid is a hybrid electric car like the Toyota Pruis. Both Google founders - Larry Page and Sergey Brin drive Prius (not sure they are still driving now). Prius is not selling in Malaysia here just launch this week (update: price around RM175k).

Here are some photos:

accord
Honda Accord, now came with 3.5-litre version.


honda city
New City has 2 model, S and E
This is E model with better spec


honda city rear
Rear view looks nice


civic hybrid
Civic Hybrid selling at RM129,980.00

If you don't like the Honda cars, may be you will like the Honda girls.









Saturday, August 01, 2009

Day 2 of PC Fair 2009 August

Just for fun. Came back from (day 2) of PC Fair at KL Cenvention Center. It is crowded as usual. I saw few people wearing mask, if you are not buying anything and you aware of the flu, may be you should think twice.

Everything in the exhibition is almost the same as before, but they have a hall for online game. Audio device move to the last hall. Notebook is everywhere, from Acer, HP to Sony. Broadband promoters are crowded at the last hall. What else? Oh! I saw the HTC Android phone, selling at RM26xx.

cosplay
Online game cosplay.

Feel like going? Tomorrow will be the last day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Standard breaks easily

Let me tell you why.

Have some discussion with open source friends on why people don't use openoffice (compatibility issues with Microsoft Office), lead to document standard. Standard is always there, but we just don't follow strictly. I am not familiar with the open document standards, but from the html standard, we learn something.

If you are a web application developer, you know the standard, and you follow the standard strictly. A problem was discovered, your boss ask you to solve it by today, and you do not have the solution yet, do you still care about the standard? No, what you urgently need is the solution, not the standard.

What you do is, you search the internet, and take the easiest solution which works for you, even it only works on Internet Explorer and not other browser, you will take it. Standard solution comes later and standard breaks since this day.

Your immediate boss, who knows about standard as you do, doesn't care your solution only works on Internet Explorer. He will accept your solution, because he need to answer to the big boss who knows nothing about standard but money.

Why don't you fix the standard issue later? Because you always have problems with higher priority to be solved. This is how you work as a software developer till the last day you work at your company.

I like standard, I hope everyone follow the standard, but standard breaks easily. If you are a software developer, you will agree with me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What do you expect from Chrome OS?

What is a Chrome OS? It is a minimalist OS base on linux, target to run on netbook. Target to be ready on 2010 quater 2.

I don't expect much from Chrome OS. For me, Chrome OS is just an extension of Chrome browser, to make it runs faster. V8 engine (to improve the javascript) is one way, Chrome OS will be another way to make Chrome browser faster. Google focus is still on the browser itself and not the operating system. (refer Google build 3D hardware boost into Chrome)

By starting the Chrome OS project, Google not just in control to improve the performance of Chrome browser, but avoid Microsoft making tricks hidden inside the OS. Build on Linux, Google already save years of development, and effort of thousands of developers around the world.

Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer
Windows 7, Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer at MGX.
Originally uploaded by brandonleblanc

By announcing the Windows 7 is ready, Microsoft declare Vista fail. There is a three years period (start counting from Vista launched in end of year 2006) given to other operating system a chance to show off and grab some market shares. The available and popularity of netbook, provide a better chances for the operating system vendors, especially the linux providers.

Chrome OS is a good strategy, at the right timing, even though I think that it was late. Many OS vendors miss the opportunity, like Xandros Linux, which runs on the first version of Asus netboook EeePC 701. Google is different from the other Linux vendors by creating Chrome OS project, Google is targetting on the browser and web application, not the OS itself.

By the way, this is just all my prediction.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Thonet to Firefox

Today I start with a chair design, name Thonet no 14.

Thonet chair is a bendwood chair designed by Michael Thonet (1796-1871), who is a German-Austrian. Thonet chair has a very simple design, is cheap (because it can be mass produce), and you can comfortably sit on it.

chair no. 14
Chair no. 14.
Originally uploaded by khio.design

The Thonet No. 14 chair is the most famous and popular model among all the Thonet chair model. It was designed in 1860 (some says 1859) and I heard it is still in production. A design 150 years ago and still available now, it is a classic.

The Thonet chair also known as the coffee shop chair. Its simple design lead to its affordable (cheap) price. Not sure it looks familiar for you, but I saw this similar design very often in many of the coffee shops, during my childhood time.

Some people like complicated things, some people like simplicity, it is just a preference. A very important point, a simple but practical design lead to affordable price. That's is the philosophy and vision of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the Apple II computer.

A netbook might not as powerful as your desktop or the high end notebook, but as long as it fulfill your needs, and you can comfortably bring it around, it is useful. Most important thing is affordable price.

You think this does not apply to software because software can be reproduced very easily? So you can put it more codes? So it doesn't matter it is a bloated software or not? What do you think that Firefox browser get its popularity which it was just a strip down from Mozilla/Netscape browser?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Palm Pre block by iTunes

Apple just upgrade iTunes to version 8.2.1, so third party product including Palm Pre will not be able to sync with iTunes software. Palm Pre users may be disappointed.

iTunes software
iTunes, its showtime.
Originally uploaded by snowman

We all know that Apple system is a very close up system, but we also know that iTunes is a good software and important platform, it runs on Mac as well as Windows (but not Linux). Apple not just using iTunes as a mp3 management software to sync mp3 to iPod, but use it as a platform to sell mp3, video, movies and iPhone application. Finally Nokia has learn from Apple App store (iTunes), and start up its ovi.

I am not surprise Nokia can start up the ovi service, because Nokia have acquired the necessary technology like starfish software, intellisync. I don't understand why Palm is going backward, they already have a long running synchronization software, Palm Desktop. Palm should keep improving and extend the software, rather than just depending on their competitor (Apple).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not an Apple fan boy

I promise Mun, I am going to write this post. I have a big laugh inside my heart when I set the title.

I know Mun from the MyOSS monthly meetup, MyOSS meetup is the gathering for those who are interested in open source. Mun told me he has something interesting to show me, other than open source software, he is going to show me open source hardware.

Few days ago, I meet Mun. Mun keep his promise and show me the open hardware platfrom the he was hacking for some time. Mun explains to me in details on the hardware and how it works.

The hardware is call arduino, it is a general platform with a microprocessor, limited memory. It is a simple, extensible, low cost and affordable hardware. There are many hardware modules available, which add on to the arduino platform, extend the functionality, eg. the audio module. In simple word for computer tech geeks, the arduino platform is like the computer mother board, the audio module is like sound card or video card.

Why spend money on such a limited platform? This is something a software people like us will never understand. Mun is a hardware guy, he knows how to modified the circuit board on the arduino platform. Arduino is like a compiler and a programming language for Mun. Other than the hardware platform, need some software programming to power up the hardware, that Mun going to show me next time.

I never meet any hardware guy in open source meetup, Mun is the first one. It reminds me Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder who design the Apple II computer), too bad he is not in Silicon Valley. See you again Mun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Malaysia Jewellery Fair 2009

Malaysia International Jewellery Fair is coming again, started from 9 July to 12 July, four days at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

Opening ceremony of Jewellery Fair 2009
Open ceremony by Tuanku Tenku Fauziah

The fair organized by Elite. Elite stated that this is the largest jewellery event in Malaysia. The open ceremony on 9 July morning by The Raja Perempuan of Perlis, Tuanku Tengku Fauziah.

Malaysia International Jewellery Fair (MIJF) 2009
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Date: 9-12 July (Thursday - Sunday)
Time: 11am to 7pm
Organizer: Elite
Tel: (603) 90588772

Note:
No un-authorised photo-taking.
Children under age of 12 and visitor with slippers, shorts or singlet will not be granted admission to the fair.
Open to public and trader by invitation or registration only.

Photos on open ceremony event.

Tenku Fauziah
Arrival of Tuanku Tenku Fauziah
The Raja Perempuan of Perlis
Emily Poon
Emily Poon
DJ KK and Gan Mei-Yan
DJ KK and Gan Mei-Yan

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Red Hat seminar at Shangri-Li Hotel, KL 2009

Red Hat open for business seminar at Shangri-La Hotel, KL 2009

registration
Event organize by ECS and Red Hat
Training-Choice is here as well

Yeak forward me an email from ECS. ECS stated in the email that Red Hat CEO will speak in this event, in this morning at Shangri-La Hotel, so I attended. Seems like like ECS has made some mistake or they do not communicate well with Red Hat, Daniel Ng, Director of Marketing Red Hat Asia Pacific is giving the presentation, not the Red Hat CEO.

Daniel Ng
Daniel Ng, Marketing Director of Red Hat

Daniel announced Red Hat will have an office to support Red Hat software in Malaysia. Daniel complaints a little bit about users in Asia just downloaded the open source software, but didn't contributed back to the open source community. I think Daniel has misunderstand a bit.

1. There is not much software developers here, majority of the open source supporters are just user and not programmer, so they do not contribute coding and patches.
2. By downloading and using open source software, is one way of supporting the open source.
3. Actually there are people here who contribute to the open source community. The meetup that I attended last week, Izhar Firdaus (aka kagesenshi) is showing us how to package and contribute back to fedora.

I think Red Hat has lost their communication with the local open source interest group. May be the open source market here are just too small to be ignored. I notice that most open source companies including Red Hat are just interested to talk to institution like government sector, and not supporting the smaller community but actually closer to the open source.

So Mr. Jim Whitehurst (or James Whitehurst?), if you are interested to come to Malaysia here to give a talk to the public, we are always here to listen.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Twitter is not a social networking website

I just read a forwarded article from Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, this unknown writer name twitter a social networking website.

Twitter is not a social networking website, at lease for me.

I met many people who just thought that community website is just social networking website, but community website is not just social networking website.

Facebook is a very popular social networking website, and facebook is also a community website. Even facebook and twitter are looks more and more similar now, they are different, you should know they are different not just by their name.

There are many types of community website, like photo sharing, blog, online bookmark, wiki. Social networking is just one of those. Social networking (like facebook and friendster) is a website for users to connect to their friends virtually through Internet, extend their networking through the website.

Other community website serve different purposes, for example twitter. Twitter is for you to share your thoughts (or status) with the others, that's the most common things that people do over there. You might be reading you friend's status or someone who is unknown to you on twitter.

Don't tell me you are a friend of Barack Obama because you know him on twitter. Please don't get it wrong, even is very confusing, twitter is not a social networking website.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Meetup July 2009

All my monthly meetup were set on first week of the month, the MyOSS meetup is one of those.

Is not easy to organize and host a monthly meetup or a gathering. You need to arrange time, venue and most importantly the objective. Everyone is so busy these days, no one is going to spend their precious time with you for nothing.

For a small meetup group, you can start in a coffee shop or cafe like Starbucks, Coffee Bean. If you looking for something cheaper try Oldtown cafe, or PappaRich cafe. McDonald and KFC is not a bad choice as well. Open air mamak stall is Malaysian's favorite.

For a frequent meetup like monthly meetup, try not to have it on weekend, most people is not going to make it. Time and venue is easy to solve, start a meetup with an objective for most people interest is even harder.

I salute to those people who is still attending the MyOSS meetup. Congratulation to MyOSS meetup has pass the four years mark.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Free GSC movies

If I tell you there is an operating system which works like Windows but is free, you are not going to believe it, because is too good to be true. If I tell you there is an office suite which works like Microsoft Office, you are not going to believe it, because is too good to be true.

I heard from a friend that there are free movies shown in Tropicana City Mall GSC cinema from June 20th to 23rd, as a promotion for the opening of the latest GSC cinema in town. I doubt about it as well, because is too good to be true. What you need is just print out the coupons from the website or use the original copy of the GSC listing on the newspaper, each coupon can redeem for 2 movie tickets, maximum 4 tickets per person.

I like movies, especially free movies. I went alone yesterday afternoon, and redeem 2 movie tickets for "Race to Witch Mountain". I just need one, but they don't allow me redeem for 2 different movies. I try to offer the tickets to some who bring their children and family, may be their kids might like it. Most of them already have tickets and in return they are offering their extra tickets to me.

After 7pm, crowds coming, long queue infront of ticket counters. About 8pm plus, all the promotion cinemas are full. I am consider lucky to get a free ticket. This is a new shopping mall, is clean, there are 8 cinemas available, the seat are spacious, just as good as 1Utama GSC if it is not better.

This afternoon I went again for free movies. I just ask around, "do you have extra tickets?", and yes, there is a kind lady gave me 2 of her extra coupons, so I watch another 2 movies, "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic".

By the way, the Tropicana City Mall carpark is free till 30 June, a good move to promote the shopping mall. Is just too good to be true.