The Star pisses me off–again.

I pity TheStar, it gets whacked from both sides of the political spectrum, one for being too pro-government, and for not being pro-government enough. However, my sympathy has its limits when I saw what is undoubtedly the single stupidest article in any newspaper titled “Spicy food can trigger aggression

Now sure, the wonderful world of science sometimes throws us a surprise every now and then, but to link spicy food to aggression without any form of scientific study is tasteless (in every sense of the word). Not only can it reinforce bias on cultures that love their spicy food (Thais and Indians), it also serves to mis-inform the public by passing off what is one mans opinion as scientific fact–when it truly isn’t.

The report goes on to say that:

Alternative medical practitioner Dr Gurdial Singh Sandhu agrees.

He says hot and spicy foods and high consumption of sodium chloride, acid and mucous-forming foods leads one to become hot-tempered and aggressive.

“Road bullies, hooligans, gangsters and drunkards who have consumed hot, spicy food or one that’s high in sodium chloride will find their blood pressure levels rising.

“If they are carrying weapons like guns, pistols or revolvers, they won’t hesitate to use them because their body chemistry is out of balance.

“An acidic body is one that’s aggressive and hot-tempered,” he says, adding that hot atmospheric temperatures and radiation are among the other causes of irritability and aggressiveness.

Chinese traditional medicine specialist and health columnist Dr Ellycia Tan Pin Ting sums it up as “we are what we eat”.

“Hot and spicy food are yang and can make a person aggressive, hyperactive, hot-tempered and agitated,” she says, adding that deficiencies in nutrients, magnesium, Vitamin C and B may also cause someone to have a shorter fuse.

Folks, any form of medicine that promotes itself as “alternative”–is bullshit.

If it truly worked, then it would cease to be alternative, and Doctors and scientist would use it. But it doesn’t work, from homoeopathy to magnetic bracelets to those funny surgeries they perform with only their hands–all of that is bullshit, and to promote this pseudo-science on a national newspaper is a disservice of the highest order.

Now I tried to find some scientific journal that proved this claim that spicy food caused aggression, and instead found a whole host of studies confirming trans-fatty acids to be linked to aggression–looking at you margarine lovers and roti Planta fanatics, but couldn’t find a single study analysing the association of spice with aggression.

As a country, we should stop consulting these phoney-baloney ‘alternative’ medicine practitioners, and bomohs. It’s high time we started improving scientific literacy in Malaysia to a level where we stop believing in ancient chinese medicine. If the ‘ancient’ and ‘traditional’ medicine really worked, how come China had a life expectancy of just 43 years in the 1960’s, and it was only the introduction of real ‘scientific’ medicine that the life expectancy of China increased. How do countries that don’t practice Chinese traditional medicine like Norway, Finland and Denmark, outpace China in nearly every health indicator?

Interesting questions indeed. Maybe The Star can elaborate.

My Lazada buying experience

lazadaAbout a year back, I wrote about how excited I was that Lazada was finally coming to Malaysian shores, however I never really got around to buying anything from Lazada until recently. As you know, I was in the market for a new Unifi router and after some online shopping I decided to settle for a Asus router from Lazada, not only was the price cheaper, Lazada promised free delivery and even an RM10 discount if I subscribed to the newsletter.

So I created and account, subscribed to the newsletter and purchase an Asus router from the website–thinking all I had to do was sit and wait, and the router would be at my doorstep within 3 days.

WRONG!

Payment under Review

At the end of making the purchase, Lazada sent me an email claiming my payment was ‘in review’.  I’m not sure what that meant, but a quick call to my credit card company confirmed that the funds were already deducted from my card. To me this was unacceptable, but thinking it could be a problem with my card, I decided to try the purchase again but with my regular credit card this time–alas the router was already out of stock.

What I suspect happened was that my payment was successful BUT Lazada ran out of stock, hence placing the order under review. The wording of the email was poor, and the whole experience left me unimpressed. Continue reading

Maxis agent attacking a Unifi customer?

Writing an email to TMs CEO about my faulty Unifi

Just yesterday, I received a rather odd comment on my post about a Unifi downtime. It read:

[box icon=”chat”]

Those maroons and stupid who complaining customer service should work before as customer service first you bastard!!! if you in thier postion than only u know thier pain… they can give you promise u asshole but who want to fullfill it???? if u want complaint complaint to higher management . dont try your bullshit by spoke with supervsior can resolve your problem. they cannot do anything there coz they have barriers asshole. pls go work as customer service before talk regarding them

The supposed ‘name’ of the commenter was ‘Maxis Agent’ and the email address given was [email protected] I’m not entirely sure what to make of the comment, but this obviously wasn’t the work of a Maxis agent. 

More importantly it tried to make a rather silly point, that just because I haven’t worked in customer service I shouldn’t complain about customer service. You’re right–I haven’t worked in a customer service center, and for that matter, I’m quite certain I would find the job at a call center very challenging indeed.

But, I can’t cook either–that doesn’t mean I can’t complain at a restaurant. I can’t play badminton, that doesn’t mean I can’t get upset when Malaysia doesn’t win the Thomas Cup, and I don’t know how to renovate my house–that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about my house contractor.

When you complain to your chef that the soup is too salty–does he have the right to say, why don’t you work in the kitchen first before complaining!!

I can complain–because I paid for a service, and when that service isn’t up to my expectations–I have every right to voice out my dissatisfaction.

On a separate note, if you want to post a note anonymously, post it as anonymous, and I will defend your right to post whatever you want on my blog. I believe strongly in Freedom of speech. However, if you post something fraudulently, pretending to be a ‘Maxis Agent’ , when you obviously aren’t, don’t expect my sympathy.

That applies to you ‘Maxis Agent’ that posted on my blog at 7.18pm Malaysian time from IP Address 58.27.115.118. Why would a ‘Maxis’ agent, post from a TM IP address?

IBM vs. AWS the battle of the cloud providers

If you’re looking at implementing a large scale cloud offering, something where you measure capacity in chunks of 100TB, then you might want to weigh in on the pros and cons of each possible Cloud provider.

Or you could just read 79 page protest Amazon filed in a US court claiming it’s ‘successful’ bid on a CIA tender was legit, and IBM had no business going to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to get the CIA to re-tender.

While two cloud giants fighting it out in open court may not intrigue you, the documentation does highlight some of the results of the CIA evaluation, that show Amazon winning the bid by a substantial margin–substantial enough for the CIA to award the contract to AWS even though it’s bid was 50% (or more than USD50million) higher.

AWS vs. IBM vs. CIA

More details [here]

Asus N12 HP: The best Unifi replacement router?

Update: 20-July-2014

Since writing this post, my 1-year old Asus router begun experiencing issues with its WiFi. My devices couldn’t connect via WiFi, although the wired-Ethernet connections were fine. I called up Asus and they confirmed that my router was still under warranty, however I tried sending it to the many service centers listed on their websites to claim my warranty, I was told I couldn’t do it. The only way for me to claim the warranty was to send it back to the Asus service center in Imbi Plaza, right in the heart of KL near the collapsed road.

I can’t recommend this router because the after sales service from Asus is terrible. The router cost just Rm199, but for me to claim my warranty would require a 1-hour car ride to KL, the cost of petrol, toll and parking would easily exceed RM40/trip, and I’d have to make 2 trips (might as well buy a new router at that point)/ I emailed Asus hoping they’d at least provide some other way of claiming warranty–postage for example, but they’ve re-iterated that I’d still need to go to Imbi to claim the warranty.

Bad service–and the quality of a router that fails after just a year is suspect as well, the D-Link Dir-615 router I have still works, but this more expensive router failed after just a year?!!

Wouldn’t touch Asus routers ever again! I’ve left the initial post below for you to view, but I would recommend TP-Link routers instead.

Screenshot of the 3 Asus service centers in Klang–none of which are service centers anymore (their contracts have expired), and Asus should remove them from the website.

None of these are service centers anymore

None of these are service centers anymore

Original Post below this line:



My rather un-professional grainy picture of the Asus router.

My rather un-professional grainy picture of the Asus router. Look at how Tall it is.

The first thing you notice about the Asus N12HP is that it’s TALL, and I mean like if Yao Ming married Kareem Abdul Jaabar and had kids it would like this router. Those long antennas really make the router look like a child who’d undergone a growth spurt in the all the wrong awkward places.

Now don’t get me wrong, the standard D-Link router that TM provides you FOC with every Unifi connection is actually a pretty good router, but if you want something with a bit more oomph! then you may have to look to Asus to provide that. Is it really worth changing your Dlink, and is the Asus N12HP really the best replacement router out there?

Well…for one thing, this router Looks Good. Continue reading

The quality of censorship: The God Delusion in Malaysia

Kinokuniya_Richard_Dawkins_God_DelusionI try to keep this blog focused on technology, but every once in a while the urge to veer off topic gets the better of me. The recent state of Malaysia has been one of paranoia and hyper-sensitivity. It seems that not a day goes by without a report of someone somewhere or ‘challenging’ the position of Islam, and that Muslims need to be united to stop this wave. Well if the solution was really Muslim unity, why doesn’t UMNO take it upon itself to dissolve and then the Muslims can be united behind PAS?

Here’s the deal…the internet is so big, that if you try hard enough, you’ll find something that offends you. Even if it is a 3 year-old video tucked away in some back alley of the internet, that shows a woman cleaning the feet of dogs.With a little elbow grease and some help from Google, you’ll have more than enough ‘offensive’ content to reveal day after day.

This recent spate of hyper-sensitivity I suspect will be used to justify some form of censorship of the internet, the government already has full control of both print and broadcast media, the only avenue it hasn’t fully controlled is online–and they’re just itching to start.

But even in the most hard-core censorship environments, things slip through. These are the false positives, and they exist everywhere from birth control pills to internet censorship. Imagine a much smaller internet of just 20 Billion pages, with 100 million ‘offending’ pages. If the government had a success rate of 99%, it’ll still wrongly block nearly 200 million websites. More importantly there would still be more than 1 million ‘offensive’ pages that would seap through the wall of censorship we construct. The futility of such an exercise should be apparent for anyone to see.

So futile in fact, that even in a fairy tale scenario of 99% accuracy would be no where near enough. If people had enough time to find a 3 year old video, they’d more than easily find those 1 million offensive web pages. Continue reading

Hack TM Unifi: In case you’ve lost your default password

dir-615There’s a lot of documentation online on how to hack your neighbours Wi-Fi, but sometimes you need to hack your own system. Usually its because you’ve change your router password and forgot it completely, leaving you in the cold desolate place we like to call “No router land”.

Don’t fear though, its actually pretty darn easy to hack your standard Dlink Dir-615 router (pictured above) that came stock with your Unifi subscription. Make no mistake, the router actually has some pretty sleek features, but Telekom Malaysia has a lackadaisical approach to security that makes hacking this router merely google searches away.

The default Unifi access credentials are:

Username : admin
Password :

Where the password field is literally left blank, (as it is).

However, if you’re locked out of your Unifi router, here’s a couple of things you could do to get your connection back: Continue reading

Can you view Netflix in HD on Unifi

A lot of people have asked me if indeed you can view Netflix or Hulu or any other streaming service in HD on a regular 5Mbps Unifi connection (that’s the slowest possible Unifi connection).

Yes you can! Check out the “Now Playing HD” bit on the bottom right hand of the image below.

To learn how to watch Netflix or Hulu from Malaysia, check out my previous post here.

Netflix_HD_Unifi

Mahathir censored on facebook

Quick, try this. Head over to your facebook page, and try to share a link from Mahathirs website, www.chedet.cc.

Can’t do it?

You most probably got a warning that looked something like this:

chedet_blocked

This has been going on for some time, but a couple of days ago, the Malaymail reported that not only is the website blocked, but articles pointing to Mahathirs ‘Chinese dilemma’  were also blocked. A note on Mahathirs Facebook page informed readers that:

Continue reading