Samsung Microsoft Surface in Malaysia

This week I was attending a Project Delivery Conference in Putrajaya and was neglecting my blog a bit. The last post on the blog was more than a week ago, and that falls short of my target of 2-3 post a week. That being said, I do have some cool stuff that I’d thought you might be interested in.

Samsung Microsoft Surface

The first one is the awesome!! Samsung Microsoft surface device that was displayed. This thing was cool, it was an enourmous tablet with cooler features, check out the video below (filmed with my samsung galaxy S3), also forgive the sound quality and video angle (I’m not a professional you know). The first part of the demonstration is how he used the surface to compare 2 different laptops, by just merging their ’tiles’ together, after that a microsoft specific QR code format pops up that the user can scan and save on their smartphone for further viewing (without the need for the surface). The last part demonstrates how every pixel on the screen is also simultaneously a camera with the ability to pick up coded objects and display information about those objects. The surface was cool, but I really can’t think of practical applications other than the next Iron Man movie, and at a Rm40,000 price tag–it’s way beyond my budget.

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Is Dowloading a banned ebook illegal?

Let’s get straight to the point, the latest case where the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) is prosecuting a store manager is both disgusting and without merit. Not only is she just a Manager carrying out here duties–thereby making the bookstore liable instead of her, but the raid on the bookstore was carried out BEFORE the book was banned by the Home Ministry. So here in Malaysia, not only will the Government be able to persecute you in a guilty until proven innocent manner, but apparently government agencies can persecute for possession of a book before it is banned.

However, politics aside, let’s talk technology!!

What if I used Technology to bypass all government censorship. So instead of buying the book from Borders (or MPH, Popular or Kinokuniya for that matter), I simply download the Kindle version of the book online?

I did an online search, and indeed found that Amazon has a Kindle version of the book retailing for $11.99, if you already own a Kindle in Malaysia, then you can bypass all this drama and simply download the book to your Kindle. Of course, there are legal concerns with just downloading regular books from Amazon, much less banned books–so be warned!!

Now I wouldn’t recommend it and there are huge legal questions, but technically–it can done, and it can done easily. I’m start to finish in 5 minutes–it really is that easy.

My point isn’t that the book should or should not be banned, my point is that the ban can be circumvented with ease using technology. So how effective can any ban be, when most Malaysians have access to the internet?

On top of this is a very interesting question, Does a banning a physical book constitute internet censorship–probably not. However, does banning an electronic book constitute internet censorship? Of course you may say the law makes no distinction between and e-book and an actual physical book, but the law makes no distinction between and ebook and webpage either (they’re all considered publications), and if banning a webpage is obviously internet censorship, isn’t banning an ebook internet censorship as well?

The question I believe can be synthesized into Does Banning and ebook constitute censoring the internet? I don’t have the answer, but I believe there are 2 aspects:

1. The Traditional legal aspect as covered by the Printing and Publications act 1984.

2. The goverment promise as outline in the MSC Bill of Guarantees to not censor the internet.

If you’re a lawyer, I would love to hear your comments.

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Internet Privacy with TOR: Should the internet be anonymous

It’s an irony that while the internet was the first place you could create avatars and split personalities to impersonate others, it has now turned into a free for all buffet for private data. I previously shared on how the ads you see on facebook were inherently tied to the Google searches you perform, and how ad companies have probably gathered so much data on you that they can find out if you’re pregnant before even you do.

With that in mind, many people still have an antiquated concept of a fully private and anonymous internet, in fact in most cases its easier to track an internet connection than an actual physical person, and its actually quite possible that a confiscated computer from your home could prove your whereabouts for the last 2 years. Earlier this year, a 19 year old girl was strangled to death while she was asleep, her alleged killers were actual stupid enough to perform an internet search on “chemicals to passout a person,” “making people faint,” “ways to kill people in their sleep,” “how to suffocate someone” and “how to poison someone”. Needless to say, the evidence seems rock solid, and these dumb criminals would go behind bars.

On the other hand, some criminals aren’t so stupid. In fact, the FBI, Interpol and various other law enforcement agencies have entire departments looking and searching for online criminals who do everything from fake money Nigerian scams to trafficking child pornography on the internet. These guys have proven quite difficult to track because of something called TOR. Continue reading

Finally got my Samsung Galaxy S3

Finally after a long long wait, I managed to get my Samsung Galaxy S3 from Maxis. I got the phone last Wednesday and now after just 5 days with it, I have to say — best Rm999 spent EVER!

For those of you still curious as to how I got it for Rm999 when I recently complained about Maxis advertising a “while stocks last promotion” as a “4 day long promotion”, here’s a nifty little piece of information that isn’t widely shared, Maxis is STILL offering the Samsung Galaxy S3 for Rm999 but only to Maxis One Club subscribers, you’d still need to subscribe to the Rm68 data plan which brings with it a good ol’ 3GB of mobile data, but any smartphone needs a data plan anyway. The maths is simple, you’d need a minimum Rm48 data plan which is for 1GB/month, so the difference between the Rm68 and RM48 is Rm20/month. Over the 2 year contract, that’s a Rm480 difference, the phone price itself is nearly Rm400 cheaper. So might as well, if you ask me.

However, I’d also like to share the story of how I came across the phone, as most avid readers of my blog know (do I even have ‘avid’ readers?) that I’ve been wanting the Smart Phone for some time, and I was excited when Maxis launched the S3 for just RM999. I rationalized that I’m never going to get a smart phone this powerful for such a cheap price, so I rushed over to my nearest Maxis center, only to be told that the phone was no longer in stock AND I couldn’t book it. Needless to say, I was pretty pissed.

So I wrote a short blog post about how I was annoyed at it, and even linked to facebook post of other Maxis customers getting annoyed. Shortly after the blog post went live, I was contacted by Maxis Customer Relations with the following email:

Good Day Keith,

Firstly, please accept our apologies for the poor experience you were subjected to in regards to our Samsung Galaxy S3 special promotion.

Please provide me with your contact details if you are still interested in getting the Samsung Galaxy S3 and I will make the necessary arrangement to get a stock allocated for you.

Thank You

Joe
Maxis Customer Relations Unit.

I was delighted for 3 reasons, firstly about getting the phone, secondly about Maxis actually checking up on my blog and thirdly that Maxis actually took the initiative to contact me. All in all, I was really pleased.

I replied the email on a Saturday morning at 10am with my details and less than 20 minutes later, received a call from Maxis that I could walk into any Maxis center and get the Maxis One Club promotion. Apparently, anyone with a monthly commitment of more than Rm150/month automatically gets enrolled as a Maxis One Club member and I was one already, so I was entitled to the offer. Awesome!!

Feeling overjoyed (quite literally) I walked into my nearest Maxis shop, only to be told that– they don’t take bookings because they have limited stock. WHAT?!

Of course I was frustrated. So I sent a quick email to Joe from Maxis at 12:08am, Joe replied he was on top of things at 12:10am (does this guy ever sleep?). The next morning, I get a call from Maxis saying they’d help me book the phone (this was Monday), on Wednesday I get a call from my local Maxis Center saying the phone is ready to be collected and by Wednesday afternoon, the 17th of June 2012, I got my very first smart phone–WOO HOO!!

Now, I could continue to complain about how getting a phone from a mobile operator shouldn’t be this hard, but instead of focusing on that, I’d prefer to focus on the fact that Maxis actually went out of their way to help me. I was quite pleased with the final result, but there definitely was room for improvement. So here’s saying something I thought I’d never say — Thank you Maxis 🙂

Overall the S3 feels magically, and I absolutely love the shape of the phone. It feels as solid as my wife’s Iphone4 and I prefer the bigger screen and slimer build of the S3 (I’m also a bit worried my wife may confiscate my S3 to replace her ‘aging’ Iphone). I went out and bought a handphone case that has a built in cover, the guy over at the shop told me it was an original samsung accessory and the only accessory so far that requires removal of the back panel of the phone. That thing cost me a whooping Rm129 (damn!).

I’m still getting used to the phone though, but overall I’m liking the experience. Like I said, best Rm999 spent EVER!

If you are on the maxis one club, (trust me almost any subscriber is probably on the maxis one club already), you too can get your S3 for the low low price of Rm999 from Maxis.

Here’s a photo I took in Penang using the Galaxy S3, I uploaded the photo to my Google Drive and sharing it to the public here (it’s a bit big though), click here to view.

 

10 Strange things about the ICANN Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)

I wrote a very long time ago, about cool Top Level domains you could buy. For instance I wanted to buy the .TH top level domain so that my website could be http://kei.th . Unfortunately, I found out that the .TH domain name belongs to Thailand and they’ve pretty made it very difficult for a non-Thai to get a hold of their domain names. You’re probably also familiar with the .TV top level domain belonging to a private enterprise and the country of Tuvalu. Or the .FM top level domain used by most radio stations including Hitz.FM and Mix.FM, this domain belongs to the Federation of Micronesian Islands. However, as cool as Top Level Domains are, they’re pretty limited, the UN list out just 190 member nations, and all in all, we’re looking at no more than 250 Top Level Domains in existence. *my guess Continue reading

Watch Netflix, Hulu and even Euro2012 online from Malaysia

Malaysians have always been deprived of real-time video content online.

We’ve no access to Netflix or Hulu, we can’t watch the full episodes of the Jay Leno show online, we can’t watch the BBC replays of the football matches, we can’t even watch videos from TheOnion for crying out loud.

Why? because NBC, FOX, Netflix, Hulu, BBC and even the Onion restrict access to this content to users from only a certain part of the world (specifically America). Americans even get to watch Euro 2012 from ESPN–WHAT?

This an entire country where football is called soccer (ugh!), and they get watch it online?!!

Now, I’m not certain as to why the Studios and Channels would not like to share this content globally, while Americans (and only Americans) get access to this great content, the rest of us, specifically in Asia-Pacific are left in the lurch, waiting for our local Cable company to have it or we resort to torrents. However, what if I told you there was a way for you to access all the great content Americans get to watch online as well, and you could do it from the comfort of your own home.

Netflix cost just USD7.99 (roughly RM30), and full access to Hulu Plus for around the same price. In fact, Hulu is free if you can live with a little out-dated content and some adverts thrown in. If you’re wondering what Hulu and Netflix is, let me break it down to you based on their content.

Imagine paying just RM30 for full access to 8 seasons of Top Gear, 6 seasons of mythbusters, 5 seasons of “How I met your mother”, 7 seasons of Greys Anatomy, 6 volumes of Futurama, 2 seasons of white collar, 8 seasons of that 70’s show , 9 seasons of scrubs and 4 seasons of Heroes–and I’m not even done. On top of it, you have access to hundreds of movies including Iron Man 2, Thor, Kick Ass, The Expendables …even the older movies like Groundhog Day, Meet the Parents , Lost in Translation and if you really wanna go waaay back–GHOSTBUSTER!! (who you gonna call?) Continue reading

Netflix accounts for 32% of internet traffic : What it means for pirated content in Malaysia

Maternity leave has long been plaguing womens career, women would usually take an extended leave and risk falling behind their male counterparts. As an extension to this, employers were also hesitant to hire women (particularly pregnant women) since it meant a legally mandated leave of absence that their male colleagues would never take.

Governments have tried to stem this discrimination by passing various enactments preventing employers from discriminating against women and even providing incentives to employers to promote women within their organizations. These changes however–never really worked.

The Scandinavians found a rather cheeky solution to the problem–give men more paternity leave. By giving men as much maternity leave as women, the equality was easily set. Now employers would had no incentive to hire women over men, because men were as likely as women to take extended leave due to a birth of a child. It appears that the ‘standard’ way of trying to solve the problem wasn’t as effective as the less obvious method. Brilliant!

It’s distressing is that even though this method of addressing the inequality has proven so effective in Scandanavia, and there is so much evidence to support it, Malaysia and many other countries have chosen to continue pressing on the ineffective approaches legal enactments and incentives. Choosing instead to neglect the empirical evidence in favor of a more straightforward and less effective approach. Continue reading

Skali Cloud: A review ultra-scalable skali Cloud

A couple of months back, I wrote a small article about the Skali Cloud and how I liked the niche approach they took to cloud computing. Skali offers a very unique ultra-scalable instances that can be attached to physical machines of variable performances and storage space. In normal English, that just means you can actually the processor speed, amount of RAM and even storage space of your machine (ok that wasn’t ‘normal’ English).

In contrast, Amazon and every other cloud offering I know of, offer a specific number of machine types (usually 3 to 8) that come in fixed configurations with respect to processor speed, RAM and storage. The great thing about Skali is that if you have certain applications that would require high processing speed with minimum RAM, you can literally create a physical machine that fit your needs exactly. If you used Amazon for example, you’d have to acquire very large instance types on Amazon and usually pay a high premium for storage and memory that you really don’t need. Similarly for applications that don’t require high processing speed, but high amounts of memory instead could equally benefit from creating highly customized virtual machines to suit your performance needs.

A couple of weeks back, a commenter on my Skali cloud post and thanked me for the post, that commenter turned out to be Tengku Farith, the founder of Skali. So I wrote back requesting a small trial setup, and within a few days I manage to setup a trial account with Rm200 credit on the Skali cloud. (pretty awesome!) So I manage to wriggle a couple of hours to spend time toying around with the Skali cloud and here’s what I found: Continue reading

THANK YOU: keiths.blog won the #DigiWWWOW awards

Some of you might have heard, but if you haven’t then brace yourself– I won the #DigiWWWOW awards!! WOO HOO!!

I’m still trying to come to grips on how I manage to beat out competitors like Amanz,  MrPiratz.ComDroid.my and of course Technology, Design,Inspiration. All of whom garner more hits than me, and are far more popular. Mr.Piratz was the first person to congratulate me in the backstage room.

I must admit though, I’m still trying to figure out how I won, I even got hold of the Lowyat rep to figure out what the judging criteria was–he didn’t know. Right now, this is all feeling very surreal.

However, surrealistic feelings aside, I’m really really…REALLY happy I won. The award validates my past years work, and let’s face it–this really kicks ass.

I’d like to thank all of those who voted for me in the first place and everyone whose ever commented on my blog, followed me on twitter, or sent me an email to just say ‘hi’.

This blog has always been a sort of one man show, but as the saying goes, behind every successful man is a–WOMAN, I still wouldn’t consider myself successful, but I definitely have a woman behind me, my wife has been with me for 2 awesome years (11 if you count the years before marriage), and she’s supported me through all my crazy adventures including this one.

May this adventure never end!

Thanks everyone and goodnite.

Get 2 passes to the Digi WWWOW awards

Hey all, as many of you know I submitted my blog to the Digi WWWOW awards, and a couple of weeks back I received confirmation that my blog was top 10–woo hoo!!

Being nominated for the top 10 meant that I was invited for the awards night, and I got to bring as many as 3 guest. However, at the last minute 2 of my guest had to cancel and now I’m looking at possibly 2 empty seats at my table.

So rather than letting a good thing go to waste, I’ve decided to give out the 2 passes to the awards night, to my guest to the Digi WWWOW awards, all you have to do is follow me on twitter and tweet the following:

I want to go to #DigiWWWOW courtesy of @keithrozario http://bitly.com/MrJ9vG

I don’t expect many takers, so your chances of winning would be ridiculously high–seriously! If you don’t have twitter, you can also just leave a comment belong, and that would count as an entry as well. The winning entry would be picked at random, so no complaining if you don’t get it, it’s all random people!

The winner would be announced by midnight today, and I expect to contact you via twitter/email by tomorrow morning. Please also be sure you can be at the Digi Office in Shah Alam by 7pm , 9th of June (this saturday), otherwise you’d just be wasting the tickets.

Announcing the Winner!!

As the first (and only) participant of the competition, Mr. Shakir Ameer is the winner, I normally would say thanks to all who joined, but it looks like nobody (except Shakir) did.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/shakirameer/status/211012591475109888″]

Congratulations to Shakir, I’ve already contacted him. To the rest of the Digi WWWOW nominees, see you guys there.