Monthly archives of “December 2011

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Tricubes reports Rm17million lose, typo in Annual Report

About 2 years ago if you typed “miserable failure” on Google the first listed webpage would be the wikipedia entry for President George W. Bush, apparently a few guys found out how Google ranks their pages and decided (with a little help from friends) to push up the GWBs Wikipedia page for the search entry “miserable failure”. Google has since changed it’s algorithm to prevent a few kiddie hackers from being able to control the page ranks of sites which have dire consequences of a pages visibility online.

I wonder if we could get miserable failure to point to the Tricubes website instead.

Tricubes is in the news again, this time for a ‘typo’. Apparently the public listed company that was awarded the 1Malaysia email program and was also appointed the traffic fines collection agent by the police last month, can’t get their annual report in order. You would think that if there is just one document a public listed company would get absolutely correct it would be it’s financial report, Tricubes however is bucking the trend and inserting typos in their Annual Reportin what could be the shrewdest move ever to gain public attention. It’s probably a good thing, considering the ‘surprisingly low’ take up rate for the 1Malaysia email project. Tricubes aimed to get 5.4million email accounts, but according to the Malaysian Insider has so far only managed to register several thousand, most of whom were ported over from trial accounts“. This typo could be a cunning but ingenious ploy to get Malaysian more aware of the project, or it could be a error by a company that isn’t well run. Either way, there’s no such thing as bad publicity right? (sarcasm level at an all-year high).

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SOPA: What Trey Ratcliff and Uri Geller have to say

Trey Ratcliff is a professional photographer who photographs ooze with talent, he also blogs at It’s an amazing blog, but what’s even more amazing is that Trey chooses to release his works of art under the creative commons non-commercial license, which has it’s restrictions but allows free usage of the photos as long as its used for non-commercial purposes. Now that’s like a programmer offering free programs, or a writer offering free-content. It’s not unheard off, but it’s rare. However, in todays economy more and more professionals are taking this step towards similar licensing of their works.

Treys photos aren’t customized for a specific purpose, he post them on his blog and if you like them you can use them. It’s not customized in the sense that he didn’t take the photograph of you or for you. Similarly a lot of programmers are offering free programs they wrote as a challenge or a dare and shared not just the program, but the source code that any other programmer can build further upon. They didn’t build it for a specific purpose, just something general that they thought would be best shared rather than sold. So in that sense, Trey can use photos of a holiday or a scenery and offer that for free.

I mention Trey not because I love his work (although it IS amazing), and not because Trey is a top level photographer that he shares his work online. I mention Trey because he has synthesized in short post on Google+ what he thinks of Online Piracy, and it really has struck a chord with people, especially since Trey is on a different end of the piracy war and he’s saying that pirates aren’t bad people. WHAT?

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The Year in Review: A lookback at 2011

In 2009 I did a year in review and today (on Christmas Eve), I’m hoping to look back at my year and savor my accomplishments and even failures in preparation for my next project which I’m hoping to commence next year.

So most of time this year was spent doing many things, among others I moved out of my parents place into a new house I bought, while this may sound strange to most Westerners staying with your parents till you get married is quite common in just about all of Asia. I started a blog, delivered some successful projects for Shell, went for my first job interview in nearly 5 years, got a great job offer but turned it down , started using twitter and LinkedIn, and even tried my hand at cooking.

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Computing Professionals Bill: Final Verdict

In what I hope is my last post about this ridiculous bill, I hope to ask and answer an important question I’m surprised no one has asked yet…

Why do we need such a bill?

In essence do we need to raise standards, or provide assurance to employers regarding hired professionals. I believe the answer is NO. It all stems from a brilliant book I read “start with Why” by Simon Sinek, and you catch his amazing TedTalk here. He goes on to say, that if you mess up the WHY of any action, no one will follow you, because “People don’t buy what you do, they buy Why you do it”

Now I understand that we’d always need to raise standards, and provide assurances, but in the greater scheme of things is it really that necessary to do it now, or can we expend our energies and effort elsewhere for the IT community to get the value from our actions. This should be at the core of the discussions, this is the WHY of the bill, if I don’t believe in the WHY of the bill, then there’s no need talk about the who, what,where and how.

If the objective of the bill isn’t agreed upon, then it doesn’t matter how we achieve the objective. I feel a lot of IT professionals have bypassed this and zoomed down immediately to the details, pointing out flaws in the bill and a lack of clarity and specifics, however I’m not even sold at the high level of the bill let alone the specifics, and I struggle to understand why the bill is around in the first place, let alone how it will achieve it’s WHY.

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Why ReCaptcha works: The 4 requirements of Crowdsourcing

If the 5 of you can’t decide where to eat lunch without saying the dreaded words “up to you”, how in world can 100,000 or even 1 million people combine together to solve a problem? The answer is through a mixture of the right collaborative systems enabled by the right technology and people with the right skill-sets motivated by the right things. Get all 4 components right, and you’ve got yourself the answer to any problem.

However, getting these 4 components right is very very tricky.Some might argue it’s more difficult than solving the task at hand, but a handful of successful crowdsourcing projects have broken the mold and set the tone for others to follow. Today I want to focus on what is quite possibly the biggest crowdsourcing project ever, and with the exception of wikipedia is probably the most successful as well. ReCaptcha.

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I’m so happy….

My blog & name was mentioned on BFMs tech talk today. Woo hoo!! I’m so happy!! You can download the podcast of the show at BFMs website here , and it’s fantastic (partially because it mentions my blog). So while…

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Computing Professionals Bill: 10 reasons to kill the bill

So there’s a lot being said about the new Computing professional bill, even on this blog. For now though, if you’re really interested in finding out about the legal implications of the law, check out this amazing article here from the Bar Council Website written by ‘The Awesome’ LoyarBurok. Or if you’re in the mood for some petition, try signing this petition here, they’re aiming for 2000 signatures, so far they’re about half way through.

You might also want to digest a point by Tony Pua (opposition MP from PJ Utara):

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Jobstreet does its bit for Thailand

The Thais have had a rough couple of months. With floods inundating entire swaths of the country, Bangkok had to revise its GDP estimates for the year and even hard-disk prices spiked due to limited supply. There is some good news though, Western Digital recently started up it’s plant in Thailand (although no news on when it’ll be resuming operations) and many other companies are following suit as flood waters appear to have subsided.

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Computing Professionals Bill: This is IT

Some laws you have to fight wars to keep….others you have to fight wars to be repealed. This is one of those laws you have to fight to prevent from ever being made a law…

On April 12th , 1861 Confederate forces attacked Union Military installation named Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The attacked marked the beginning of the American Civil War, and the United States of America would never be the same. The war was about more than just a secession from a Union, it was about preserving the right that every man was created equal and that no man or woman would ever be ‘owned’ again. In just over 140 years later, the United States of America elected their first Black president.If ever there was a war worth fighting for, it was the American Civil War. The Abolition of slavery was a law worth fighting for, it was worth preserving, even till death.

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Cloud Computing: Turning IT into a utility

Cloud computing is already lowering the barrier to entry for new startups to essentially $0 hardware cost. Of course the cost itself isn’t zero, but what cloud computing has done is turn that cost from a Capital Expenditure to a Operating Expenditure. So instead of buying expensive servers, switches, racks and house them in expensive data centers, you can instead rent these devices …with no money down, and in most cases a lot cheaper than if you rented the actual physical hardware yourself.

So what’s the catch?

Large Corporations usually have service providers that provide services to us that we otherwise ‘would prefer not to run’. These services are core components of our business and critical for business operations…but it’s just that we’d rather not invest money/resources and expertise running the servers and software. We’d prefer someone else to do it for us.