Monthly archives of “November 2013

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Open letter to Tun Dr. M on internet censorship

Dear Tun,

First and foremost, let me start by telling you that I truly admire and respect your contribution to Malaysia. I remember shaking your hand when you attended my Convocation quite some many years ago. It was quite odd to see that while you were present, you didn’t give a speech, simply because you attended the function not as former Prime Minister of Malaysia, but rather as the spouse of the Chancellor–your wife Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah.

So ┬áit saddens me deeply, that at another convocation–this time where you were giving a speech, you suggested that it is time to censor the internet to counter “distribution of pornography, questionable news and slanders”.

If I may be so bold Tun–censoring the internet is the single most destructive thing that can happen to modern day Malaysia, and something that must be opposed at every turn, even if it involves publicly correcting a senior leader such as yourself. As a citizen of Malaysia, I find it not just my right, but my duty to inform the Emperor when he has no clothes on.

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Bricks to Brains: The evolution of the cell phone

Really cool infographic of the evolution of cell phone to smart phone and how the major players evolved over time.

A couple of things that stood out for me were:

1. Nokia gave up such a dominant position and never came back

2. Just the sheer speed at which Nokia went from Hero to Zero is astounding, it’s like as though Nokia died from a gunshot, as compared to Kodak which died a slow painful death from cancer.

3. Samsung comes on the scene in 1997, but doesn’t make an iota of change, up until Google decide to launch Android almost a decade later. That truly was a game changer.

4. Nokia and Samsung still sell more than twice Apple’s volume in phones, but Apple makes more profit simply due to it’s pricing scheme (a cut from the telcos) as well as the fact that Apple only sells higher-end models with higher margins (5C being the exception).

5. Motorola started it all–but then somehow disappeared. Being first to market counts for naught in this industry, neither Samsung nor Apple were first movers.

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Why the Angkasawan Program failed

In 2003 the average score of Malaysian students in in the Trends in International Maths and Science Study 510 (slightly above the global average). In 2007, that number slumped to 471, below the global average. Then in Oct 2007, we sent a man to space. With the idea that it would “instill the interest of young Malaysians to explore new areas of science and technology ” Surely our science scores would sky-rocket after such an endeavour.

It didn’t. We scored a embarassing 426 In just 8 years we went from being above average to bottom third, and the angkasawan program did absolutely nothing to arrest this slide.

Of course, the Good Minister will tell you that we’ve had 24 academic papers published as a result of the program, first of all I couldn’t find the mysteriously ‘well-received’ papers on any google searches I performed. Including papers related to the Food In Space experiment, which was meant to taste 9 difference Malaysian delicacies on board the ISS. Notice also, that the word collaboration is wrongly spelt on this slide.