Tuesday, May 31, 2011

P1 vs Yes Wimax marketing plan

Both P1 and YTL Yes are Wimax internet service providers. Even though Yes marketing themselves as 4G network provider and follow by P1, they are just Wimax service providers. I think is a confusing the consumers like us to name themselves as 4G network. I don't really care if they are 4G, 3G or WiMax, as long as the can provide a good and reliable service.

For those who doesn't know what is Wimax. Wimax is just like WiFi. WiFi (normally) cover 100m range, but Wimax cover few kilometers area. Home usage, we use WiFi, to cover a larger area like a city or district, is better to use Wimax.

Wimax and WiFi are not compatible. You need different modem for WiFi and Wimax. Your notebook which is WiFi enable are not able to connect to Wimax network, unless your notebook is Wimax enable. Most desktop, notebook, and mobile devices out there are WiFi enable but not Wimax enable. Normally you need to purchase a Wimax modem from the service provider.

P1 started to provide WiMax internet service back in 2008, I have tried and very disappointed with them, including the network quality and front desk support (read my story here and here). The P1 service seems to be improved when I visit them again about a year ago, but too bad that I have decided to drop P1 and go for Streamyx again.

I have not tried Yes mobile internet service, so I don't comment on the network quality. By looking at the marketing plan as a consumer, there is a big gap between P1 and Yes.

Yes has flexible prepaid plan. With Yes, you just paid for what you use, 3 cents per MB (reference price is RM1 per MB). If you are a frequent user, you can subscribe to 30-days value pack at any point of time with even cheaper rate. What you need is just a Yes ID to acces to their service, to maintain the Yes ID, you need to use RM30 per month. P1 has prepaid and monthly postpaid plan, but the postpaid plan still came with a 12 months contract.

Yes has multiple choice of devices. You can get a home base modem (Zoom), usb modem (go), portable WiFi (huddle), WiMax mobile phone (buzz) and even software phone (Yes Life). You can check the devices available here. P1 only have home base modem and usb modem. I believe P1 will came out with more devices like Yes, but we have to wait and observe.

Yes ID came with a mobile phone number. You can purchase the specialize buzz phone to use the mobile number or you can download the Yes Life software to use as a VoIP phone.

Yes looks more like a mobile network operator than just a internet broadband provider. P1 started at least 2 years ahead of Yes, but what Yes is doing now really gave P1 a slap on the face.

Monday, May 30, 2011

YTL Wimax Yes Life on iPhone and iPad

My friend just remind me to try out the Yes Life for iOS devices (like iPhone and iPad), if you register a new account with Yes using the mobile App, you get a 14 days free trial and RM5 credit, the promotion end 12 July 2011. (check here)

Now available on Apple devices

Yes Life is a VoIP phone software like Skype and Viber, but Yes Life came with a valid local phone number in Malaysia start with prefix 018. You can receive voice call and SMS from other mobile phone, and make voice call or SMS to other phone, quite similar with Skype-In and Skype-Out service. Yes Life not just available on iPhone and iPad, it available on Mac OS X and Windows operating system as well.

Is nothing special with software VoIP phone. For Yes Life you need to pay for the call charges, as well as the internet data charges (unless your internet data line is unlimited package). Other than a cheaper call rate, there is no reason for most people to use a software phone with local numbers. If you are going to oversea, a software phone with a valid number could be useful.

Roaming charges are still very costly. Software phones with a local number is convenient for those people who travel oversea but still need to communicate with his company colleagues or friends. It may save the roaming charges provided you are using the software phones with free or low cost internet access.

It sill doesn't make sense for some people, because you can use other way of communication like MSN, Skype, Viber, email, if you already have internet access. A software phone just gave you another alternative. For example if you are doing online banking at oversea, most online banking may need a TAC number for fund transfer transaction. The TAC code will send through SMS only, the Yes Life which has a valid phone number will help you to solve the problem when you are oversea.

Yes Life came with the 14 days trial. After the trial period you need to top up RM50 as prepaid credit to continue using the Yes ID account. The account will be suspended or deactivated after the trial period.

Convert iPhone movie with handbrake

iPhone support Quicktime and mp4 (H.264) video format, which is not common as rmvb and avi (divx, xvid).

There are many video converter software which turn various video format to mp4. I was using MediaCoder before, but I prefer handbrake. Handbrake is much simple and easier. (A quick tutorial was shown at the later part of this post)

A common problem with convert iPhone (iPod or iPad) video is, only specific parameter setting (eg. video resolution) will be accepted by i-devices. Sometimes we converted a mp4 (or m4v) file, but it just rejected by the device. We have to put the specific parameter, especially the display resolution and audio format. Is difficult for normal user like us to get the right parameter for the i-devices.

Handbrake is an open-source software which convert mp4 file, it makes the job so much easier. Handbrake is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. If you ignored the subtitle, multiple audio track and other advance features. Convert iPhone video is just as easy as one click operation with handbrake software.

Handbrake came with some preset profile like iPod, iPhone. The handbrake version 0.9.5 support iPad profile too. Handbrake convert variety of video format, but I always have problem to convert rmvb (real video to mp4) with handbrake. For real video, I suggest to try MediaCoder, another open-source video converter, it has specific iPod (iPhone) preset profile version.

A quick tutorial for handbrake.

When you first launch handbrake, it will ask for the source file. Or you can click on the source file icon on the upper left corner of the software.

Choose the iPod, iPhone or iPad profile listed on the right.

Click start and then wait, that's it. It could take some time to convert the video file, it depends on the machine speed, size of source file, size of target file. It may takes 15 minutes to more than 1 hour time.

This is just a short and simple tutorial to convert mp4 video, hope I can share more next time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TenFourFox Firefox on Mac OS X PowerPC

I want html5 on my old mac which running OS X 10.4. When Mozilla announced new version of Firefox browser 4.0, they also announced to drop support for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

This is no big deal for most people out there, except for just a small group of users who still using old PowerPC Mac. I miss the html5 features on my OS X Tiger, espcially location and video playback features.

For some of the Tiger users out there, they may still need the latest web browser, especially for the html5 support. The latest browser that can be installed on OS X 10.4 Tiger is Safari 4.1 and Firefox 3. Both doesn't support html5. Luckily TenFourFox came into rescue.

TenFourFox(10.4Fox) is Firefox 4.0 code base run on OS X 10.4 Tiger, especially for PowerPC Mac. TenFourFox is not just a recompilation for OS X Tiger, it replace some framework coding like CoreText framework which doesn't work well on Tiger. (check the technical differences)

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is the last OS X version that you can install on a PowerPC G3 machine. PowerPC G4 and G5 user still can upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Is make sense for Mozilla to drop support for older OS X, so they can focus on new framework which came with the later OS X version. It doesn't make sense for some users, if Firefox still works on old Windows XP (2001), it should works on OS X 10.4 (2005).

Again, we saw the power of open-source. With 10.4Fox, I can use location base feature on my OS X 10.4 Tiger on iBook G3.

You can get the latest version here.

WebCamp five 2011 Kuala Lumpur

I just attended the WebCamp five, the 5th WebCamp event of year 2011, few days back.

This is the first time I attended the WebCamp. The venue at Wisma UOA, easy accessible. It is located just besides Bangsar LRT station.

The event is free of charge and is a "bring your own cup" event. The response is quite good, around 50 people turn up. Normally this type of event, majority is male members, but I saw a few female members there as well.

Most surprisingly I met familiar faces (like Michael, Wing, Aaron, Hanxue, Mats, Swee Meng), the people that I know from MyOSS meetup, hackerspace and startupweekend.

There are total of 4 presentation (plus 1 inspiration talk). I have miss the first presentation, the following are (presentation titles are not really match) :

Database presentation by Colin Charles.
Real-time web by Kamal
The History Of the Future by Shaolin Tiger.
Performing Arts go Digital.

Last talk is by the host Wu Han on Education and Digital Publishing.

The WebCamp event is good, if the presentation can cut short or controlled in 20 minutes time will be better. I will vote for the presentation by Shaolin Tiger, is simple and easy.

If you are interested check out WebCamp KL facebook page, next event will be hosted at other places.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft acquired Skype

Microsoft is buying Skype for 8.5 billion in cash.

The is a headline news! Why?

1. This is Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever.
2. Skype user, like me may be disappointed.

Skype started in year 2003 and acquired by eBay for 2.6 billion at year 2005.

Few years later, eBay sell Skype to an investment institution lead by Silver Lake Partners and other parties included the original founders (of Skype) for a total value deal of USD2.75 billions (detail refer here).

Now Microsoft willing to pay 8.5 billions for Skype, it sounds like a good deal.

I am just worried that Skype will only available on Microsoft platform and eventually kill Skype in the future.

Skype was started as an VoIP software and services, today we know there are a lot more competitors, especially on mobile platform. I just name it, Google Talk, FaceTime, Viber, Tango.

Most available VoIP software can't match with Skype, in terms of voice quality, user interface or value added services. Skype provide more services other than just VoIP call, like SkypeIn and SkypeOut services. Most importantly Skype available on multi-platform which include Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows Mobile, iOS and many more.

Theoretically Microsoft will kill any the development other than Microsoft related platform. It might not happen now, might not be these 2 years. No one can grantee it wouldn't happen.

Microsoft buys Skype

Monday, May 09, 2011

Startupweekend KL 2011 commentary

Just watched the movie "The Truman Show" (Jim Carrey) on HBO.

The story is interesting. Truman live in a TV show, from the first day he was born. Everyone thing and people around Truman are props and actors, Truman doesn't know that. The TV show was live on TV, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Startupweekend like a game, but is so real. The goal is to create a startup in 54 hours, like Social shout out and Find middle.

In real life, is hard to find someone to sit down with you and work on a real startup business, but at Startupweekend is much easier. Is easier to work with other people, even you just know him/her for the first time. They have join in the game and allocated their time for the 2.5 days.

When the game finish, you can't even get a few hours time in the real life.

Startupweekend Kuala Lumpur 2011 thoughts

Startupweekend Malaysia 2011 Kuala Lumpur event just ended.

Startupweekend is a good idea, 2.5 days (54 hours) of startup event camp is the time that most people can squeeze out from their busy weekly schedule. It started from Friday 6pm and ended on Sunday night.

People group together, pitch ideas, vote for the ideas, look for marketing and technical people, form team and startup!

Is 2.5 days enough for a startup? Yes, is possible.

social shout out website, rank the users by their activity in the social network like facebook, twitter. They given out an iPad for the ranking number 1 user in the startupweekend event.

The best part is you have opportunities to meet VC and SME CEO. They spend some time with the groups, gave valuable comments and suggestions. You will meet other great people there too.

Most people will complain the wifi at event venue (Universiti Tun Abdul Razak) is slow, when a lot of users login together. I have to use my mobile broadband, which is working fine.

My overall rating for the event is 3 out of 5. 

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Programmers are precious?

Lack of programmers, always.

At Startupweekend Malaysia KL 2011, out of 60 attendees, only about 6 are programmers. Half of the programmers saying that they are 'rusty'.

Software developers in Startupweekend are precious, not in Malaysia.

Either programmers are mostly not interested to startup, or there is not much programmers in Malaysia here.

Never-mind, we can get programmers from Bangalore, the silicon valley of India. Or Hyderabad.

What? You need marketers? No problem, we have a lot here.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Startupweekend Malaysia 2011

Launch a startup in 54 hours.

I am going to attend the Startupweekend Malaysia KL 2011 event on this weekend.

I am not familiar with the startupweekend, it was introduced by one of my friends who have attended the last year startupweekend event. Last year startupweekend is the first startupweekend event in Malaysia.

The startupweekend event is a global event like the meetup.com. It will be organized by a local party, if there is one near by your place. It is a 2.5 days (54 hours) events, it started on Friday evening about 6pm to Sunday 6pm.

Attendees pitch their ideas at the beginning of the event, a few preferred ideas will be voted out. Groups will be formed depends on the number of attendees. Each group find their own members, build products and launch startups during the 54 hours weekend. There are mentors who will guide the new comers of the event.

Is a paid events, anyone can join the events even without any ideas. You can listen to others' ideas, and join them if they sound interesting to you.

Check out the Startupweekend Malaysia website, or the facebook page.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Apple iMac update 2011

As expected Apple refresh iMac desktop computer with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU, the second generation of core i5 (and i7) CPU.

What's new with the iMac Sandy Bridge:

1. Quad-core i5 (or i7), Sandy Bridge architecture.
2. AMD (ATI) Radeon high performance graphic processor.
3. Thunderbolt, the high speed IO.
4. FaceTime in HD.

Price starting as USD 1,199 (as usual), RM 3,799.

As US dollar waken to USD:RM 1:3, RM 3,799 price is high. I believe price below RM3,500 sounds more reasonable and attractive.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

ExifTool to extract photo exif info

ExifTool by Phil Harvey

ExifTool is a command line application which extract exif data from photos (eg. jpeg file), available on Windows and Mac OS X, you can download it from here.  Windows GUI is available as well.

What is exif data? The exif data in a digital photo file store information about the photo and camera which include date, time, caption, camera, lens, focal length and a lot more.

If you upload your photos on flickr, you can check the exif detail information. The ExifTool is an easy way to extract exif data from the photos.

After install the ExifTool, execute the program from Terminal or command prompt:

$ exiftool photos.jpg
ExifTool Version Number : 8.23
File Type : JPEG
Camera Model Name : Canon DIGITAL IXUS 60

I just list a few exif data here. If you use the exiftool, there is a lot more information available.