Thursday, March 31, 2005


Hopefully, now that Terry has passed away, the media circus along with the religious right who were using her suffering to impose their own ideologies on the World, would just go away.

There were other more important news you this:

Staying alive longer

Ok, seriously;

Eight dead in Iraq blast. Yes, eight - that's seven more preventable deaths than the one currently hogging the front pages of every reputable newsite.

Quake worse than expected

Malaysia and I

I just got back from my short trip to KLCC. Haven't been there for ages. Not since August 2004.

During the whole journey from/to my home town to/from KLCC, I started jotting down what I really thought about Malaysia through the eyes of a Malaysian in exile. These were what I wrote on my PDA in no particular order:

Note: Some of it are not really through my eyes but informations gathered from friends, relatives, 'newspapers' and my family.

1. Malaysians loves to stare. I took a photograph of a man at the coach station and he kept on starring at me. I had to slip away before he tore my digital camera into pieces.

2. The Karak Highway resurfacing program has been going on since July 2004. Wow! All these thanks to Datuk Sami.

3. Same issue with the highway around the Duta area.

4. Malaysians can't queue. Sorry. Malaysians won't queue.

5. The ladies here are really skinny. I mean really really skinny. They eat loads but they are still skinny. And they are not all sexy.

6. Malay ladies are hot! I never realised it but the ever changing society is bringing in liberal values to our Malay friends. Hurray!

7. The ladies here are very very fashionable.

8. Knowing our government I thought that they would attempt to ban 'FCUK' from French Connection billboards. But they did not. Which is a good thing.

9. The aunty-aunties here love high fashion. Spot the fake Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Dior, Prada handbags etc among them.

10. They also (still) love to gossip. LOUDLY! Really really gets on my nerve.

11. The transport system in KL is not integrated. I blogged on this once many months ago on why KL needed to implement an integrated transport system like London's Underground or Paris's Metro. Sadly, the only thing integrated about the light railway system in KL is you have an option to purchase monthly tickets that allow full use on KL's separate tube lines.

12. The carriages on STAR lines are fitted with metal seats. Which are so smooth you could slide from one end to the other.

13. STAR and PUTRA, the two lines I took today was s-l-o-w.

14. Most expats tend to stick together. I have to mention that my observation was only limited to two meals at the KLCC food court.

15. Total lack of disability access in many public areas. A disgrace for a modern city and one this government should really take an issue in drafting a proper building regulation and making it a law for fairness to our crippled friends.

16. The proliferation of American style cafes. This has been going on for many years but I am still not so pleased about it. But KLites are lucky. You should see the number of Starbucks in London. Soon they be serving Starbucks 'beverages' in strip clubs.

17. KLites do not let people off the trains first. They just rush in like hamsters.

18. Shops here open at 9am, especially the ones selling books (for kids going to school) and mobile phones, and close at 7pm. Big shopping centers closes at 9.30pm.

19. Speaking of mobile phones, there are about one gazillion mobile phone stands/shops/mini-shops/cafe-like shops in KL. I am a gadget freak but even I couldn't stand the sights of them.

20. Prices of apartments around KLCC are probably equalvalent to prices of apartments in Canary Wharf, London.

21. People do not chat to strangers on public transport. This is actually a normal 'etiquette' in many countries transport system.

22. The area where my parents reside had power cuts FIVE times during my less than two weeks here. I was told that there had been no blackouts for a couple of month until I came by.

23. The issue of sexuality is still taboo in this country at least among the media.

24. Drugs are still illegal.

25. Businessmens and businesswomens constantly wear their full uniform (suit, ties etc) even on lunch breaks and in the sun.

26. I think roti boy is damn overrated.

27. Not many iPod show-offs seen today.

28. Beers are still (mostly) sold in coke cans. What light weights!

29. My former favourite fast food, A&W, is still operating.

30. Dance music CDs are confined in a separate room in Towers Record as though it were a deadly disease.

31. Malaysia politics is laughable. No wonder people here do not care.

PS: Observations are merely my own and are not indicative of the rest of the Malaysian population.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Google this: Liar

Again from Bloggerheads

Google this: Liar


Guide to googlebombs

A whole lotsa links to post today...

War is still an issue says rebel Labour MPs as general elections moves nearer

US general approved use of torture confirmed

BBC throws out Jerry Springer : The Opera complaints. See? There is justice after all. For Malaysians readers you have to read this to understand why I am so peeved about the whole issue.

Update: Via Bloggerheads, here's Christian Voice begging for cash

You want a Big Mac with that book?

Yes, you could be receiving more than you bargain for when you purchase future books... I'm Lovin' It - the quest of the holygrail of all hamburgers.

Dissent is good for democracy argues Tony Benn.

Wolfie wins Europeans backing. :(

Via Bloggerheads, former Labour spin doctor, opps, communications chief Alastair Campbell's new blog. Check it out!

Are you Backing Blair? New video.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Linguistic challenged Malaysian

I have always found it hard to explain the finer points of Malaysian-style English to my more mundane (but intoxicated) British 'buddies'. You see, most of us learn Manglish subconsciously and it would be too difficult to teach someone about our fine taste in linguistic preference. It's like trying to teach an adult how to shit or eat.

You can experience some garbled up English in Wong Kei but its all different. Manglish is more colourful, mixing not only bad English, but also bad Malay and bad Chinese.

So read this blog entry on the superiority of Malaysian English, compared to British English in everyday communication. (Macvaysia)

Some quake thoughts...

Yawn...last night quake's still giving me a headache...only three hour sleep and when I wanted to blog, Tenaga decided to cut the power again. Thank you, atleast I can get back to sleep!

Why the hell did we all overreact for? Reading through my previous post again I finally realised what a dumbass I was reacting to what can be consider as an aftershock. Did we think about the people who are most likely to die due to this?

Hell the Japanese experience this every other day but when it happens here we all (present party included) swamp Petaling Street with panic 'OMG' stories and supposed 'ghost stories'! I tell you... only us Malaysians can somehow link tremors with ghosts...

At least one of our paper had some humor, look - ALL SHOOK UP!

NST Tuesday All Shook Up!

But who said nothing tragic happened in Malaysia? See - house collapses into sinkholes! Pray for them...

Only one British paper saw the light and spared their readership of a quake related hogwash. Bless 'em...

Disaster Emergency Committee

Oxfam International

Monday, March 28, 2005

Quake: Malaysia news Vs International news

A massive quake has occured off the coast of Sumatra with tremors being felt more than 300 miles away in Kuala Lumpur and our government controlled television studios are quiet about it. TV1 - crap football. TV2 is blank and TV3 is playing NBA tapes.

The only way to get news of this event is through international news channels like CNN, CNBC and BBC World - all of which requires subscription and the installation of Astro satellite dishes. Not cheap for fishermans living in coastel regions!

Imagine that, BBC newsreaders are reporting from White City in London but our studios are mum!

I would not be surprised that if a tsunami do occur this time and if it does reach Malaysia's coastal town - scores of people will die! All because of our media inability to issue warnings.

Instead, Malaysian bloggers who are the ones collating datas of friends, relatives and other sources, feeding people with information through Petaling Street.

You can watch BBC News 24 live coverage here.

Update: USGS has raised the earthquake magnitude to 8.7. TV3 has some live reports last time I checked. 4am local time here I think I am going offline.

Quake reaction highlight generation gap

Me: "Father, its your son here! Wake the fuck up!"


Me: "Earthquake in Sumatra...!"


Me: "Felt in Penang! Jeremy called just now. Its pretty bad!"

"What! What! When did this happened!??"

Me: "Half an hour ago...! Tried to wake you all up!"

"When did Jeremy called?"

Me: "Half an hour ago but I phoned him again. The tremors were so strong he was thrown off his bloody bed! And his apartment's bathroom collapsed!"

"Oh...! I will call tomorrow morni..."

Me: "Tsunami alert issued as well...Its on BBC World!"

"His apartment is not near the coast...don't worry...go back to sleep!"

Me: "...!"

Oblivious to the fact that the high rise apartment that my younger brother is staying could have suffered structural damage he and my mum went back to bed...sigh...

BBC has some informations regarding quake

Tsunami alert raised. Advice to evacuate coastal area. We can save lives this time!

Update: Apparently the quake occured on the same fault line as the Boxing Day quake.

Malaysian bloggers reaction to quake live at Petaling Street

USGS report

CNN confirms quake off Sumatra

According to CNN, the earthquake occured off the coast of Sumatra and has a strenght of 8.2.

Update: Since I was not in Malaysia during the Boxing Day tsunami disaster I wanted to know how bad this would be. According to my cousin in Bangsar, the tremor felt in KL this time around is far stronger than Dec 26th.

Quake felt in KL

Just got a phone call from my friend who is in Bukit Jalil near Kuala Lumpur. They felt a quake aftershock rocking their high rise apartment.

Update: Just got back from my younger brother in Penang. His shower room collapsed due to the quake. Apparently its a big one.

Do you charge your family for IT support?

Most of you tech savvy bloggers probably give out free technical support to your family, friends and neighbours, but have you actually tried charging them?

I had a hunch that most people just didn't know how to set up their computers - let alone fix them. So as an experiment I put up a note in my local newsagent's window offering, for a sum, a helping hand. Surprise surprise, my phone has hardly stopped ringing.
I am in a similar situation. I never charge my grand aunty whenever she gives me an emergency call and I have to make a one hour trip on Bus 83 through the famous traffic-heavy Ealing Road just to fix her computer only to find out that the problem is usually something trivial like 'printer not printing', 'speaker not working' or 'my new testament in Spanish can't play through the CD-ROM'.

I have to admit that I sometimes do wish she pays me. Yeah, my kiasu'ness do get the better of me most of the time but I don't hold any grudge - as long as you feed me dinner then its okay.

See also: IT support for parents

Post/Edit blogs on Blogger anywhere

If you like me, do not currently own a laptop but do own a Pocket PC, you can still use PocketBlogger to post new blogs onto your Blogger account. The only thing you need is access to the internet either via WiFi, Bluetooth over mobile or GSM/GPRS enabled Pocket PCs.

Its pretty easy. All you need to do is get the required files from
here and download Microsoft .Net Compact Framework for Pocket PC. Note that there are no setup files, just copy the folder to your device.

Since I currently only have access to a RM5 prepaid sim card I would not be able to demonstrate the features here (the reason why there are no original screenshots). My previous testing with it while in London shows that it works even on WAP CSD connection.

screenshots from

The program only works with Blogger using Atom API. It is in its early stages and the author plans to implement LiveJournal support as well.

You can try other blog-based programs for Pocket PCs such as
Pocket SharpMT and PocketBlog. These are more powerful but lacks the friendly GUI of PocketBlogger.

By the way you can always use blogger's e-mail service to post new blogs from any mobile devices although you would not be able to edit them.

Stand at ease...Doctor Who returns

I just finished downloading and watching Doctor Who (sorry BBC!). Not much I can do about it because I am on a short break and missed the first screening on Saturday. I reasoned that since I am a license what the heck... ;)

Billie Piper as Rose really surprised me. I was expecting her to act like one of those wonderful but wooden characters of Hollyoaks but she did wonders to impress me. I hope she will continue her career in acting.

The new Doctor is played brilliantly by Christopher Eccleston and I hope he stays as the Doctor for future series. This is British Sci-Fi at its best with trademark cheesy special effects and out of placed dance music tracks. The plot works great with the story.

I mentioned in one of my posts that I will probably skip Doctor Who but now I have to take that back. For the next few months at least I have something to watch that isn't Ant & Dec related.


I have to admit even though I am a self-confessed film junkie, I have only seen two Dogme95 films in its ten year history. One was Festen, the first Dogme film made, which I caught in a film festival a long time ago and the almost pornographic Idioterne, shown this month on Channel 4's Banned Season (I believe it was the first time penetration was shown on terrestrial British TV).

The Dogme manifesto was originally structured to counter the auteur theory. Rules pertaining to vow of 'chasity' was released and includes such the barring of trivial things such as the use of props.

The irony of it all it seems was one of the reason the rules were created was to release the director of any credits to the authorship of a Dogme film, when in actual reality directorship is often credited and even more so on their website!

However I really did enjoy the two films I saw and not because it was a Dogme film - but because the plot was good - which some would argue is the result of such rules.

If you are interested in Dogme film-making, Ten Years of Danish Dogme 1995-2005 is being held at the Curzon arthouse cinema in Soho this whole April.

Read The Guardian's article on Dogme.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Election fever heating up

12-point Labour leads. Check out backing blair for information on how to register your protest vote. Vote Tories! What with the last of old Labour now finally dead there is no stopping the new one from further moving to the right. Can you can tell the difference between these two!??!

By the way its already too late to register to vote in this year's General Election so tough. However if you are elligable to vote, its still worth registering for next year's Local Elections.

Conservative campaign meltdown as backlash appears over deselection. Tsk tsk...

Can Howard win? Unlikely...

Nerds rejoice: Doctor Who reviews Doctor Who, verdict? Fairly positive.

Unfortunately despite me being a Christopher Eccleston fan (check out Shallow Grave) I don't think I can go back watching Science Fiction. Its all too predictable. I would still watch the new Star Wars not out of being a fan but because of its cultural significance.

Your rights: Malaysia gov disbands moral police after condemnation

USJ residents Vs food court

Apparently this USJ councillor has been recently receiving a lot of sticks for an aborted 'educational fact finding' trip to the Middle-East and a local issue involving the building of a 'temporary' food court over a future police station site. Insightful Malaysia politics! People power!


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Censoring rubbish content from your TV

Americans have Fox News blocker...when can we have blockers for Sky News and Star News?

Read more at Yahoo! News

The Tories just can't help it...

Reading the news about the latest Tory saga that threatens to split the pro-war Conservative Party gives me a dim satisfactory joy unlike others. However all these are unfolding while I am on holiday in Malaysia and it certaintly takes away some of the positive glee. Sigh...

BBC World/CNN seems to be ignoring the events in the UK instead concentrating on weird issues such as the pending death of a single vegetative woman in the US.

Real art

Read about it

Friday, March 25, 2005

palmOne Treo 650 dilemma

I saw an advert for palmOne's Treo 650 for only RM2788. Plus with a free 512Mb SD card (fairly wimpy), screen protector and leather case. Not bad. A quick check with reveals that it costs 393 quid. I got my i-mate JAM for 405 quid at Expansys so the Treo is obviously cheaper.

Taking into account the freebies (which probably have a market value of 30 quid), the 650 at £393 is a bargain. A quick check at Expansys reveals that the sim-free UK version would cost £525 inc. VAT and that is even without any add-ons!

So now I am caught in between. I have always wanted the Treo 650, despite it only running PalmOS 5, but I don't think I can sell off my JAM because I left the box, CD-Roms etc in the UK! Can't believe it! Maybe I should just buy the Treo now and ebay my JAM once I get back to UK.

Update: I just found more screenshots of the leaked Windows Mobile 2005 beta OS. And it has changed my mind on ebaying my JAM. The GUI looks much better and cleaner. One handed operation, crucial to phone operation, seems to be improving with the implementation of the soft key functions. palmOne would better release a PalmOS 6 Cobalt Treo smartphone if they want me back as a customer.

China weapons, watching the news + freecycle

Timothy Garton Ash has written a piece arguing that the EU arms embargo on China should not be lifted due to human rights issue. I think the commentary completely misses the point.

Why? Because I do not once believe that the US pressure on EU is due to human rights concern. You only need to look at the dire situation Iraq and Guantanamo to understand that the US are one of the worst offenders in implementing human rights.

Read this too.

Last night I had my first chance to watch BBC World on Astro. A couple of annoying things. First, there were adverts! Okay I know Malaysia residents don't pay licensee fee to BBC but still - I am not used to watching a BBC channel with adverts especially one with American accented news readers.

Second, the theme song to BBC News is different. It is similar but with an annoying twist to it. Put me off. It made the whole production felt cheap even though the broadcast seems to be coming out from the same set in White City. Oh well what do I know...

Anyway because of the bloody track I switched to CNN for some 'unbiased' news. Bloody 'ell. They are still going on about the whole Terri Schiavo saga.

It was quite surprising when I found out that there are local freecycle groups in Malaysia more so because of the rising kiasu attitude among Malaysians.

The Office US remake

I have decided a long time ago that won't like NBC's remake of BBC's The Office. I mean these are the same people who screwed up the Coupling remake. However reading the lines of some of the reviews of the pilot episode (which ranges from awful to awesome), I might just give it a chance.

My original views are still valid tho - why do American networks need to keep remaking already good films & tv shows?

image: Cult classic - the original Office

The NBC version will be screened on BBC Three later in the year. You can purchase the complete box set of The Office on DVD here (no affiliation).

BBC soaps no more plus the rise of women writers

No more soaps on BBC1 says new controller. Thank god for that! But please no more Fame Academy! More comedy please.

Chic-lit has been on the rise for some time. The Guardian
examines women's position in book writing.

Sony's PSP was launched yesterday in America. The Guardian has a
nice positive review of it that is easily digestable to non techie readers. They are wrong on one front though - I have seen the Nintendo DS many times in London and it is anything but a toy.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Homosexual/Necrophilia ducks

I know this is pretty old news but I will just put a link up here since like most Londoners, I love to eat roast duck in places such as Magic Wok and the overrated Four Seasons (not me) in Bayswater, Queensway.

Now I know why they are constantly chasing each other at St. James Park. Bloody perverts!

Really pity, I did not know these poor fellas enjoy desperate but active sex lifestyle. I really should stop eating them...

Update: What is it with animals and necrophilia? Here is an article on the perverted nature of British pigeons.
"Despite receiving no response, it mounted the corpse and engaged in vigorous copulatory movements. It was so stimulated that it did not move when cars approached and a small queue of cars built up as the dove went through its energetic performance. It then flew off."

Malaysian blogging MPs update

Reading through Brand New Malaysian, I found a link to a website run by a Malaysian ADUN. While it isn't a blog, he does participate in forums. May I present you State Assemblyman Lee Hwa Beng. So bug him in the forum if you happen to be a constituent of Subang Jaya.

I am still waiting for the first true Malaysian MP blog to surface.

Kidnapping do's and don'ts Malaysian style

More paranoia from The Star. Today's 'Fight Crime!' guide is kidnapping.

Do's: Try to escape if no one is guarding you. The best time is when kidnappers go to buy lunch or are resting. LOL!

The Star, 24 March 2005: Kidnapping

I am more interested in why they decided to insert a picture of a VW Golf/Polo in there. Surely there are almost none of these wonderful cars in Malaysia no?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Product Review: Quattro razor

Some clever Malaysian friends had the cheek to e-mail me informations on the so called 'supercar' a Malaysian company is planning to build. Stop spamming me okay? I get the gist. Malaysia boleh. Jeez...

For the three years my primary razor has been the Gillette Mach 3 series (and occasionally cheap airline razors and er... my girlfriend's Venus...). I 'upgraded' to the turbo variation about a year ago.

The three razor blade at first suited me fine but as my skin grew rougher would glide occasionally pricking my skin and causing me to bleed the whole day. Not only that but I could never replicate the one glide movement that David Beckham has impressed during some of his more nauseating Gillette adverts.

The only reason I continued using Mach 3 Turbo is because I was stupid enough to purchase an eight pack cartridge refill from a dubious street trader in Western Road, Brighton.

So when my girlfriend bought me a Wilkinson Sword Quattro (because I forgot my razor again when I visited her and by now she was beginning to get fedup with me using her Venus), it was a chance for me to break free of Gillette's Mach 3 grip.

Buy me, I will change your life
image: two recommended products

It has been my main razor over the past two weaks and I have been impressed by its four blades and eight protective wires over the head. I have no idea how those wires can protect my scruffy oriental skin but it works. One glided shaving is still impossible but its surprising how much facial hair it could mow of my face during the first glide.

The razor's body which is made from alloy, has a satisfactory weight to it giving it some form of luxury when compared to the Mach 3. Very nice...

Its not able to provide me with the perfect shave but nothing will. But it those signify that the holy grail of shaving might just come from this Anglo-German company in the future.

"Get Your War On"

Via Chicken Yougart, check out this funny anti-war site.

Guide to googlebomb

Tim of Bloggerheads has written an excellent guide with sets of rules that will enable a successful googlebomb. Check it out if you are planning a campaign of googlebombing.

Yahoo! Mail 1Gb

Yahoo! Mail service to receive 1Gb update.

I have been using Gmail as my exclusive e-mail for a couple of months now and its great to hear that Yahoo! will be upgrading their mail service with 1Gb storage.

I am getting a little bit fedup with the many Gmail's bugs and sometimes lack of service altogether. Hopefully once its released from beta it would improve.

Personally I believe the advantage will be with Yahoo! mail in the long term. The holy grail of web-based e-mail will be completed once Yahoo! starts implementing technology acquired through Oddpost.

The only question left is will either Yahoo! or Gmail be implementing IMAP support?

Source: CNet

Some links (updates)

Damn fast car, Maserati MC12 review

Hack's guide to missing a story

Summer is coming.
Should we be sunning ourselves more?

Daily Mail's decline in readership, hurrah! (Registration required)

Watch out for Hell's Grannies on the high street

Seriously, McD promoting health more than anyone else

Vigilante violence. Will such scenes ever happen in Malaysia?

Fact: We don't fall in love with people who look like us

Tap water is good for you, but not in Malaysia...

What about a guide to repel obviousness?

Every country has its own issues of paranoia and how they deal with them.

In Britain paranoia ranges from gypsies, asylum seekers, chinese cockler pickers, 45 minute WMDs and child molesters.

In the states, they fear most are Islamists/Arab terrorists, liberals, 15 year old girls who bakes cookies for neighbours and the escargots eating frogs.

And in Malaysia its snatch thieves.

This reminded me of the similar anti-terrorist brochure that came through the front door of my household a couple of months back.

However this is infinitely more laughable and fun to comment on due to the sheer ludicrousness of it.

The Star

I particularly enjoyed line 4 of Do's:
- If someone snatches your belongings, scream for help to attract attention

line 5 of Do's:
- Remember face, race and vehicle registration number of snatch thief

This is a classic, line 4 of Don'ts:
- Limit the amount of jewellery worn. The thicker the chain, the harder the fall, the worst the injury

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Memories: Motorola StarTAC 75+

I was looking through some boxes and found one of my very first mobile. The Motorola StarTAC 75+.

Ah...memories. A little bit of history on how I came to own this mobile. Because I wasn't 18, I had to lie about my age in order to get a contract with Vodafone through Phones 4U. My first choice was the Ericsson GF788 but that costed a bomb so I had to settle for this. Monthly payment was roughly 20 quid for 45 minutes of any time calls (back then it was alot).

Steve, the eccentric branch manager was kind enough to dump me a free cheap lousy faux leather case, while also recruiting me in a drive to bring in more customers.

I would earn about 25 quid for every new customer I bring into Phones 4U. By the end of 1998 I had collected about 150 quid in cheques.

StarTAC next to i-mate JAM

image: StarTAC 75+ next to my current PDA mobile, i-mate JAM

This cutting edge mobile can only operate on GSM 900 frequency and weighs 112g. The alphanumeric display is capable of displaying 2 * 12 characters. Ringtones are monophonic. The phonebook has a capacity of 100. The mobile is able to connect through WAP CSD at 9600 bps. SMS is standard. The battery provided was a 500mAh NiMH variation. Who needs a Motorola RAZR V3 to impress? Back then when I was commuting between London and the midlands people would look in awe at that 'tiny mobile'.

Sexy StarTAC
image: Sexy...

This model was released along with the slightly better Motorola StarTAC 85 which was far more expensive but contained a clock and superb 4 * 15 character monochrome display. It was also a testament to the future of Li-Ion battery. The 85's battery is about half the size of the 75's NiMH battery and yet contain 400mAh more juice.

The StarTAC 75+ still works although the battery only lasts a few minutes. Back then if Motorola worked hard enough the 75/85 could have been as slim as the RAZR V3. About 3mm of thickness was wasted on the 75/85 because Motorola decided to include a full credit card size sim card slot.

WM2005 leaked

The next generation Windows Mobile 2005 for Pocket PC OS beta version has been leaked for HTC Himalaya (T-Mobile MDA II, o2 XDA II, Qtek 2020). Rumours has it that it also works with HTC Magaician platform.

I downloaded the ROM image along with ActiveSync 4.0 beta but will decide later if its worth installing on my imate JAM.

You can get the ROM image here. Beware though, initial assessment by users are its very buggy and cannot sync via USB.

Rant: What Vision 2020 when simple electricity can't be provided?

Its 6am Malaysia time and we just received our electricity from Tenaga after suffering a black out for almost 12 hours.

The only call that we managed to make to Tenaga Nasional (after two hours of avoiding us), our sole national electricity provider, yielded only the following informations "We know about it lah, it's a trip lah, working on it!"

The blackout was contained to an area of about 100 houses or so. There has been no rain let alone thunderstorm, the only reasonable explanation for any blackout to occur. One black out is alright but I know that blackouts occur regurlarly here. Probably once every two months.

Of course every negative has a postive and some did emerge from this episode. We managed to have a little family re-bonding. Its nice how an evening could be spent sitting in the porch admiring the bright moon and enjoying the cool breeze...

Plus I did sweat alot. Good for losing a little bit of fat.

Seriously though, this country prides itself of being a developing nation. There are few ways out of this shithole - one to renationalised Tenaga and the other is to deregulate the industry hence letting in competitors. Modernisation is the other way forward and one which I favour most.

Flicking through the pages of a January 2005 Star paper I found out that there was a blackout in KL. Now my initial thoughts about that was this is not worthy of front page reporting (I still do) as though it were some political scandal or terrorist attack so I found the whole thing amusing.

No, the point is the criticism afforded to Tenaga during that saga should have shaken the company to its core.

Malaysia boleh?

Are there any Malaysian MPs blogs?

I am interested to know if any Malaysian MPs run blogs or have people run them on their behalf.

I have created a partial list of (interesting) British MPs who blogs (as well as Councillors) but I have no Malaysian MPs to add. Even former US senator Gary Hart has a blog.

A blog by MPs would be one of the best way for them to communicate with their constituents on local as well as regional issues.

Here is an excellent persuassive arguement from my local MP on why MP's should get blogging.

Inspired by

Midnight Mystique

Finally...! Breeders has managed to produced the first black hyacinth. I am not a fan of any coloured variations of hyacinth but I am glad that a black one is on its way to the market hopefully by next spring.

Why I hear you ask? Because my girlfriend is obsessed by them! She has a couple in her room in Brighton and her office at University of Brighton. Black hyacinth is atleast a damn sight better to look at than yellow.

Kylie fever...

Kylie in 16" corset. Yummy.

A review of SECC performance. Can't wait for May 2nd Earls Court.

image source:

Monday, March 21, 2005

Some gaming thoughts...

Via Guardian Gamesblog - apparently there are people out there who actually believe that Halo 2, the overrated game on an overrated games console, is based on the supposed real life story of Jesus Christ!!!

I don't want to sound offensive to my Christian friends but this is one of the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Read more at Christian Post.

On lighter gaming news, the Gizmondo, formerly known as Gametrac has finally debuted. While the price is expensive for a portable games console, the inclusion of a GPS chipset makes this a potential cheap routing device (if a software is released to take advantage of it).

I believe the usage of GPS could potentially revolutionise location based gaming as we know it. Take for example the award winning Can You See Me Now? game created by the Blast Theory group which uses GPS and mobiles to create a location based game, and just imagine what this beast can do.

Atleast two games being developed I know of that takes advantage of the GPS chip, City and Colors.

Imax films accused of blashemy

Observer feature on US biblical crusade against science based movies

These people really do think differently from the rest of us.

Update: Via Peter Gasston's blog, BBC News coverage

DRM is plain wrong

Bill Thompson blogs on why DRM is a bad idea. Not surprising since Bill has been one of the champion in restricting the proliferation of (bad) DRM schemes.

I wrote an article a couple months back on the issue of DRM but since then its been sitting on my harddrive outdating itself away while I whittle on with my life. Hopefully I would be able to publish it soon. It has a slight anti-iPod overtone to it but overall its more about MP3's inadequacy and DRM's failings.

Iraq and the truth

BBC One's Panorama investigates the events leading up to the Iraq war to see if there is any truth in claims that Tony Blair misled the country.

Panorama: Iraq, Tony & the Truth : Transcript, timeline and your comments

Meanwhile, should
religion and politics mix?

Andrew Murray's No Escape from the War

US lied about nuclear export

Israel illegal expansion continues in West Bank

To Yahoo! News,
anti-war not anti-US. Idiots!

Protest: London

Update: Removed a photo link because Yahoo! News keeps moving the link.

Basically it was a photograph of an anti-war protestor carrying an anti-war poster. Although the poster has no anti-US remarks, Yahoo! News seems to think it justifies labeling the protestor as anti-US.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

London-KL thoughts

If there is one thing I hate about traveling is the fact that most of the time I have to go through Heathrow Terminal 3 airport. I have been traveling through that airport over the past eight years and not one bit has improved. Okay, once you have passed the immigration, you find better and more expensive shops - but that's about it.

Checking in is horrid. The queue is 30 minutes deep with only five counters open. By the time I got there they have ran out of window and aisle seats. A quick trip to customer service and I have been upgraded to a window seat. What a waste of time!

Heathrow has also introduced a second tier of immigration check right after baggage scanning check. The security is laughable what with many people passing through unchecked.

Once inside duty free, things started to get better. The interior is much nicer. An improvement which can be credited due to last summer's refurbishment. The human traffic is a little bit off-putting.

A quick trip to Dixons got me an aircraft headphone adaptor. (Note: Dixons staffs here are equally clueless as their high street colleagues) The prices here are nice though. You can fine the recently discounted 128Mb Tapwave Zodiac 2 PalmOS organizer/console gaming machine. A snip at £130.

There is not much one can do in Heathrow. You can drink but the only pub around is O'Neills! The only thing I did do after my purchase as Dixons was to sit down and read my book.

Note: However bad Heathrow Terminal 3 is, nothing in my experience can outdo Los Angeles International Aiport (LAX) as the primaire example of bad airports.

Fourteen hours later (after almost choking to death eating a tasteless creamy fish with tagliatte) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), I beamed with pride as I walked through the Sepang based airport.

But maybe after twelve hours of flight I was keen to escape and the sheer humidity of our hot weather probably clouded my initial judgement.

To be fair to Malaysia Airlines this was not the worst flight I ever been on. The first one was six years ago on a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore. But that was easy compared to what I had to endure with Connex South Central (au revoir) four years ago when they were diverting our one hour trains into three hour journeys. Imagine that - my return from Brighton to London was via Littlehampton!

Of course such grandness in KLIA is useless because the airport was empty! By the time I reached the baggage reclaim area I was starting to wonder whether such high tech facilities are needed in Malaysia yet. I got through to baggage reclaim from the aircraft in a record 15 minutes but it took a further 15 minutes for our airport to finally bring the goods up.

Sure Malaysia can build big buildings and advance formula one circuits but that's because our labor is cheap. Even the Petronas Twin Tower is not fully occupied last time I checked.

Anyway the one thing I hate about coming to Malaysia is the (lack of) media. Its sad that this country still only produce three national English titles in which two are tabloids!

But I like the food. That's why I came back. Hmm...

Note: Those interested, my JAM with its puny 1200mAh battery managed to clock up six hours of music even though I underclocked the PDA to 200Mhz. Crap. Makes me wish I had a PalmOS smartphone.

Update: I was a little concern with the amount of bush fires I saw en route to KL. Its quite shocking.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Current playlist...

Tonight I will be boarding a 13 hour flight. In preparation for complete boredom, bad food and crap movies I have updated my 1Gb SD card on my i-mate JAM to include some good music.

Ambient Ibiza music rules the day with my Cafe Del Mar collection, but I also included some other genres for good measure. Doom is there in the form of Anathema as with early 90s British grindcore (Carcass). Traditional British club music is represented by Ministry of Sound while Brits 2005 winners - Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand will also aim to please my ears. Moby's Hotel came out last week and hopefully I can finally sit down and enjoy his music.

Bought Will Self's 2002 paperback edition of Feeding Frenzy this morning. It is a collection of Will Self's journalism and selected writings from 1995-2000. Articles published will include everything from restaurant reviews to Tate Modern, British art scene and cultural phenomena. I truly enjoyed Will Self's Dr Mukti and Other Tales of Woes and his other articles variously published through different papers with his pseudo-intellect contemporary modern style of writing.

For good measures I will also be bringing Mark Kurlansky's 1968 paperback. I have finished it but its good to re-read it once again in order to pick the brains of the 1960s revolutionaries.

Also included a couple episodes of Futurama. This will eat my JAM's battery so I probably won't watch them.


Will Self - Feeding Frenzy

Mark Kurlansky - 1968, The Year that Rocked the World


Cafe Del Mar : Volumen Siete

Cafe Del Mar : Volumen Once

Cafe Del Mar : Volumen Ocho

Cafe Del Mar : Volumen Seis

Fatboy Slim - Palookaville

Moby - Hotel

Groove Armada - The Best of

Ministry of Sound - Clubber's Guide 2005

Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters

Anathema - A Fine Day to Exit

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Carcass - Heartwork

All covers from Amazon UK.

Friday, March 18, 2005

TomTom updates

TomTom has announced the latest product of their ever expanding European GPS products - TomTom Rider. Basically a rugged TomTom Go 5 for motorcycles. Very nice.

They are also releasing TomTom Navigator 5 for handheld computers. Yayy! I can finally ditch the postcode handicapped TomTom Navigator 3 from my Jam.

For those with smartphones either running Symbian OS or Windows Mobile for Smartphone, don't fret, TomTom has also launched TomTom Mobile 5 for smartphones.

And finally TomTom Go 700 is for those who frequently travel through Europe and need door to door navigation. With its built in 2.5Gb harddrive, the Go comes with the full Western European (including Poland and Czech Republic) door to door detailed map pre-installed.

For more detailed reviews on these products, visit Pocket GPS World.

I can't think of a title!

Sunday, remember to watch BBC's Panorama program titled Iraq, Tony and the Truth.

Unfortunately I will miss it since I will be on a plane, but I did program my WinTV Nova-T software to record it.

You know the World has gone mad when a school bans a girl because of her hair.

In a return to IT related news, Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition has seen low sales. What do you expect MS?

Via Slashdot, here is an article on the Blu-Ray Vs HD-DVD next generation DVD standard. I have to say I am in full support for Sony's Blu-Ray standard. The specification is far superior to HD-DVD. Hopefully Sony won't make the same mistake as they did with Betamax's surrender to VHS on the consumer market front.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

High Street clones

Every High Street in Britain looks the same. How true. When I came here eight years ago and then moved to the South East, I was perplexed by the sheer similarity of the High Street operations. Not because the buildings are the same, but the shops.

And that is globalisation for you. Hardly are more independent stores in almost any major High Streets. Its H&M, WHSmith, M&S, Dixons, Superdrugs, Topshop, AllSports, Boots, HMV, Claire's, Next, Vodafone, GAP and the huge sights of overrated coffee chains.

Starbucks is one example. When they first started making its move on London, it bought or rented every available space on the High Streets. Now they probably out number even McDonalds' by a factor of 3 to 1. Starbucks in a book store. Check. Starbucks in a clothing store. Check. Starbucks in a bank. Check. Starbucks in a department store. Check. Starbucks every 100 yards. Check

Signage is one of the issue. There is currently no guidance from councils to prevent such companies from posting huge corporate identities that totally detract from the surrounding area.

However the main issue still lies in offering variety. It is no wonder that whenever I go out shopping, I tend to seek solace in Camden Town where diversities are paramount.

Note: Camden High Street has not escaped the onslaught of the coffee chain proliferation. It now has a couple of Starbucks, Caffe Nero and Prets, most at the expense of local independent traders.

Are Malaysian streets turning into advertisment billboards for large multi-nationals? It just might.

Religion & politics

I have always liked British politics and its separation from religion meant that this is truely a secular country. I just wish Malaysian politics is more like that where a committed non-religious secular opposition would emerge and the main National Front would strip all their religious/racial tones.

So its quite sad to see religion (in the form of the Catholic church) suddenly deciding to play into politics by mimicking their counterparts in America, this time on the issue of abortion.

Sad sad sad...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Watching them...

Funny spoof site on morality...

Mediawatch UK
Christian Voice

Source: Bloggerheads, Media Watch Watch

Hogged headlines

MediaGuardian (registration required) has a thought provoking article on the issue surrounding journalism and media in general and the way they choose which stories to highlight.

Large scale with visual eye candy disasters such as the Asian tsunami has pushed out other 'forgotten' emergencies down the press priority.

Already we see the (mostly right wing bigoted) press largely ignoring such crisis and instead concentrating on non-issues such as the Michael Jackson trial.

Was it legal?

Legal my arse! The Independent's front page news on the legality of the invasion on the sovereign nation of Iraq. War based on one A4 legal advice by Attorney General.

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Guardian version.

On other less important news but still significant enough. Keegan out of Man City.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Roti canai in space

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the pure idiocy of this joint US-Malaysian project.

Cry because the article stated that Malaysia's National Space Agency has already conquered most of the technical hurdles involved in sending a Malaysian to space. Which I won't believe. Yet.

Or laugh because the space agency thought it is important to have our astronauts enjoy South East Asian delicacies.

Source: BBC News

Comic Relief & Red Nose Day

Remember the 10th Red Nose Day is tomorrow (also 20th anniversary of Comic Relief). I know it can be a real drag but please try to pump up any spare change and you could be making a difference.

Despite the genuine efforts of the organizers, some have seen fit to ban children from raising money for the charity.

While it is true that Comic Relief and Red Nose Day has been hijacked by shameless self promoting D-list 'celebs', the money raised is still beneficial.

Guardian blogs the DS

Greg of Guardian Gameblogs has blog on why Nintendo would need all the luck the have for their European launch of the Nintendo DS. And while some of his arguement seems valid, read the comments posted by visitors.

Remember folks, the DS would be released tomorrow for a not too bad price of £99.

Manglish Vs English

Ivan has put up a very funny piece comparing the way Malaysian response in English language to the way British do.


Britons: I'm sorry, Sir, but we don't seem to have the sweater you want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other outlets for you.

Malaysians: No Stock.

Of The Scum, Shih Tzu, Piers and Harry Potter

The Scum along with its right wing tabloid rivals, the Nazi worshipping Daily Mail and Daily Express has been running articles aaginst Gypsies travellers.

The Scum
in particular has two days of Gypsy hating full front page features. And while The Scum has spinned its headlines to make it look as though people were supporting them, complaints have started pouring in through the CRE and PCC.

Source: Guardian Newsblog

And for some funny news, a Shih Tzu dog was subpoena by US prosecutors in a murder case.

Here is an interview with Piers Morgan on The Independent.

Meanwhile the latest Harry Potter book covers has been released. As usual the two UK children and adult editions feature covers superior to the American version.

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Looking at the new covers I can say that I think Snape is the Half-Blood Prince.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005


Apple zealots, take note. This is a real flash based digital music player...

Bluetooth awareness rising

An independent study confirms that Bluetooth awareness are rising across the globe. I have always been a proponent to Bluetooth technology ever since I got one of Ericsson's last mobile phones the T39m which was one of the first product to have the technology built-in.

Bluetooth, which was originally developed by Ericsson, is very easy to use and maintain reliable connection if used within its range. Some have pronounced Bluetooth dead in the wake of WiFi's booming industry but in my view both are very different technologies. While WiFi is just a wireless extension of ethernet connection, Bluetooth with its low battery usage is more practical.

The imminent arrival of Bluetooth 2.0 with faster speed will only help spread the technology.

Source: Bluetooth SIG

Syria military pull out thoughts

Syria military should pull out of Lebanon with the same reason American forces has to pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and all other countries they have military installation. Simple as that!

Pulling out quickly would only destablised Lebanon. Wasn't that what Bush said about being cautious about pulling out of Iraq so soon? When will they leave Iraq? Not soon, that's for sure. Does Bush now want a civil war in Lebanon giving them and their Israeli counterparts an excuse to intervine and set up military outpost in the country? It certaintly seems like that.

Champions League thoughts

Congratulations to Chelsea. What an amazing match it was on ITV1. Too bad I supported Barcelona. Well the Catalans can take pride that they played much better than Chelsea. Yes they were weak on defence (crap), but atleast two of the Chelsea goals were lucky one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Lords savage terror bill

Twenty Labour peers, including former lord chancellor Lord Irvine, a former mentor of Tony Blair he was studying for the Bar, has defeated the government's terror bill. The peers insisted that only the judiciary could impose control orders on terror suspects and not ministers.

The bill which only managed to squeeze through commons by a majority vote of only 14 (it would have been defeated if the Lib Dems attended the vote - shame on you!) - with the biggest Labour revolt ever - are already seen by some people as a mini-Patriot Act.

Source: Guardian

Monday, March 7, 2005

Piers Morgan on working with Murdoch

MediaGuardian has a feature of The Mirror's former editor, Piers Morgan's The Insider (Ebury Press £17.99) memoir. Some of the best bits of his life under Murdoch when he worked for News of the World and his susequent move to the left during his reign at Mirror.

Its an interesting read especially the one about the current The Scum editor, Rebekah Wade. Rebekah when still working under Morgan at News of the World, was despatched to steal a copy of a Sunday Times first edition paper with contents of Jonathan Dimbley's serialisation of his Prince Charles book.

Italy mourns intelligence officer

The killing of the Italian secret service agent by American forces who claimed that it was a 'horrific accident' made me wonder just how many Iraqi's has died due to 'accidents' due to US gung ho trigger happy soldiers.

And that is the sad thing. While this is a tragic event and its 'usefulness' is only in exposing the flawed US foreign policy, one should take note that killed and murdered innocent Iraqi men, women and children are never honoured. These people are many and will never receive a proper funeral just because their bodies were blowned up by 'smart' bombs.

Believe whichever version you prefer but I can honestly say I don't trust a single word of the current US administration.

Interview with Guiliana Sgrena.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

No Angels returns

Forget Desperate Housewives or other saucy American comedy import. Channel 4's controversial but successful nursing drama, No Angels will return soon on Channel 4. By the way, first series of No Angels will be released on March 21st on DVD. Now if Channel 4 will just bring back Teachers and Peep Show.

A day of news...

Bush has warned Damascus that Syria should withdraw from Lebanon. While I agree that Syria has no business in Lebanon - the same can be said that the US has no business in Iraq or Afghanistan or South Korea or Japan or Germany or the UK etc etc etc...

Meanwhile... an Italian journalised held hostage by Iraqi 'insurgents' was released yesterday only to be attacked by US forces! As she was being driven to Baghdad airport, American soldiers started firing at her car killing an Italian secret service agent and wounding the journalist and two other agents. As usual the US government insisted this was an accident and an inquiry would be opened.

It should be noted that the Italian journalist in question is Giuliana Sgrena is an opponent to the war and the illegal occupation. She works for a respected left wing newspaper Il Manifesto. Nicola Calipari the secret service agent killed played leading roles in negotiating the release of Ms Sgrena and other hostages before her.

On lighter news, its my pleasure to announce that former British home secretary David Blunkett is not the father of his ex-lover's (American Kimberly Quinn) baby son. Finally this issue can be thrashed and not take up any more valuable space on the newspapers.