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.


Other. Games by, 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.


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

Axel Meyer
Axel Meyer from Nokia, Finland.

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.



and finally:


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 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.