Who"s davidlian?

My photo
davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Are you alive?

Saw this on Friday whilst driving home. Thought provoking? Maybe we are all just networked brains living in a virtual world.

Saw this one day driving home.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Q: The wonder of China

I really think one day everything techno we have will be made in China by some Chinese company with a really wierd sounding name.

Case in point: my friend bought a new phone yesterday for RM 400 bucks. Made in China. Designed in China. Christened the Holiday Q9. Sounds familiar? Check out the Motorola Q:

Summary of Key Features
• One of the first devices to run on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0; Optimized for Microsoft Exchange 2003 and a variety of third party email solutions that enable a broad set of corporate email capabilities*
• Thinnest QWERTY device in the world – 11.5mm
• Full, ergonomic QWERTY keyboard, 5-way navigation button and thumb wheel
• Video clip capture and playback
• Connectivity via Bluetooth, IrDA and mini-USB; compatible with Motorola H500, HT820, H5, H600, H700 Bluetooth wireless headsets
• Multi-Media Messaging (MMS)
• Dual, stereo-quality speakers
• Audio formats supported: iMelody, MIDI, MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, WAX, QCELP
• Image formats supported: GIF87a, GIF89a, JPEG, WBMP, BMP, PNG
• Video formats supported: H.263, MPEG-4, GSM-AMR, AAC, WMV
• Mini-SD removable memory card slot
• Large, high-resolution display (320 x 240 pixels, 65K TFT)
• 1.3 mega pixel camera with photo lighting
• PIM functionality with Picture Caller ID
• Advanced speech recognition and speakerphone

Then have a glance at my friend's Holiday Q9


* Mobile model CECT Q9
* System Window Mobile 5.0
* LCD 2.6 inches Touch Screen
* Support Bluetooth (Handsfree, A2DP, FTP supported)
* CPU / RAM ARM926T OMAP730 200MHz / 45mb
* Memory extenal: Mina SD card supported up to 2 GB/ internal:64 mb
* Digital Camera 2.0 mega pixels
* Audio/Video record: amr / 3gp; Audio/Video Player: mp3 / mp4
* Ring Type: 64 polyphonic / midi / wave / mp3
* Support java, WAP, USB 2.0
* Handsfree speaker Support
* Support GPRS
* Connection Wire: USB to PC,, Beam / Wireless: Bluetooth , Network cards
* Other Functions:ActiveSync, calculator, calendar, camera, contacts, download agent, excel mobile, file explorer, games, help, internet explorer, internet sharing, JAVA, messaging, notes, phone, pictures & videos, Pocket MSN, powerpoint mobile, search, SIM mgr, tasks, terminal services client, windows media, word mobile
* Network frequency: GSM 900/1800 MHz
* Language: Chinese, English
* Battery Li-ion 3.7V 1400 mAh

Yeaps, all that goodness (notice the 2.0 MP Camera vs. the 1.3 MP Camera?) for just RM 400. China's world domination might not be far off. Provided they can improve the build quality.

PS. For those of you sniggering, yes I'm also aware of NOKLA phones floating around. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Better tech needed for metal car keys!

If there's one invention I wish that would be implemented right now is for Titanium or some other tough material to be use for car keys.

Was rushing to work today trying to be early when a I realised I had to stop for gas at Petronas. Went to the pump and credit card facility wasn't working so I thought I'd risk it and go straight to work. Pulled out my car key and realised it was bent. Pictures below show it after my feeble attempt to bend it back straight.



Celaka! Proton should start considering tougher metals for their car keys. Now, if anyone knows where I can get this fixed, please ping me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Guess what I'm going to be doing tonight?

Being the Warhammer 40k fanboy that I am, I can't stop grinning ear-to-ear as I'm working through today. Because I'm already thinking of what I'll be doing tonight. Because this morning, I just got this:


Ah, Dawn of War: Soulstorm. I've been waiting for the chance to take my real-world tabletop army to the virtual battlefield, and was among the geeks to punch my fist in the air and shout "YES!" when the Sisters of Battle was announced as a new faction.

Now, this (model painted by me):

Saint Celestine - Front

Can become, this:
DOW - Living Saint

Watch out, heretics will burn tonight.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh no! WiMAX jitters?

Read this, much to my dismay as I personally had high hopes for WiMAX.

Australia’s first WiMAX operator, Hervey Bay’s Buzz Broadband, has closed its network, with the CEO labeling the technology as a “disaster” that “failed miserably.”

In an astonishing tirade to an international WiMAX conference audience in Bangkok yesterday afternoon, CEO Garth Freeman slammed the technology, saying its non-line of sight performance was “non-existent” beyond just 2 kilometres from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds. Poor latency and jitter made it unacceptable for many Internet applications and specifically VoIP, which Buzz has employed as the main selling point to induce people to shed their use of incumbent services.
We've all been waiting in giddy anticipation for WiMAX over here in Malaysia, at least the last two years have seen much PR play over tenders and what not. Reading this report, does this mean it will all go to waste?

I'm moaning about my "2 KM unfettered broadband internet access, limitless web-surfing whilst at the outskirts of Sabak Bernam" dream going down the drain, but Erna says: "Sounds more like poorly planned infrastructure."

I hope, for all our mobile internet dreams, that Erna is right. And that our Telcos (whoever gets the tender) can plan pretty well.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Media + New Media and the new age journalist?

Was listening to an old episode of Buzz Out Loud (timestamp 39:30) on the way to work and there was a really interesting discussion about the relationship between blogs and traditional news media.

You can click on the link above to listen to it (and if you're interested in PR and media etc., you should!) But an interesting point was brought up that some newspapers (in the US) could benefit from giving their journalists blogs, and these blogs could allow entirely credible media (say WSJ) to cover stuff that they normally wouldn't cover in print. Or provide opinions or commentary that wouldn't make it in print.

Would this sort of dynamic would work here in Malaysia (thanks to our own laws and controls over media)? I believe it can. I know at the moment when we say "blogs" people think "politics / opposition" but blogs don't necessarily need to cover potentially inflamatory topics like politics, race and religion; rather, they could serve a supplementary role to whatever hard news gets published in the actual print.

If you know me, you know I've been talking about this for the longest time. Newspapers could give their Tech Editors a blog and see where that takes them. A while back, The Sun had blogs setup for their editors (I've lost the link, if you have it and it's still alive, could you post it in the comments?) At least one local tech publication I know has a blog - check out The Zone.

Yes, I know many journalists have blogs of their own, but personally (as a reader), I'm interested in seeing the crossover between printed medium and the online happen. The print mag / paper is your product, but the online blog is the conversation that let's us engage with the people behind the product.

Especially for mags ( and I believe for pullouts), the community you build around your readers is going to be crucial to the success of the publication. In the old world, you'd put out a product and count your readers by subscriptions. In the new world, subscription and circulation numbers don't go away, but the web will let you make that connection with readers / fans in a way print doesn't.

By "connection" I mean this: Journalists have started to become personalities, and I think this is probably due to the way blogs affect publishing. I loved John C. Dvorak's column in PC Mag (the Malaysian Edition is now defunct). Now, even if I can't read his column, I'm able to follow his blog. I'm not just reading PC Mag, I'm reading Dvorak. In the same way, I'm listening to Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, Don Risinger and all these other really intelligent techy people. It started with a podcast or a blog, but I now follow them on Twitter as well.

I also follow some of our very good local tech editors like aggromonkey, fatcatlim and, across the causeway, eBolasaurus.

At the end of the day, I guess you could say it's about reading credible stuff intelligent people put up, regardless of whether its in print or online through blogs. But there's space for both and I think blogs convey a personality, opinion and enables feedback in a way print can't (technically, you could still write letters to the editor).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

davidlian's primer about using 3G in Malaysia

Okay, you've just gone out and bought yourself a swanky new mobile phone. Chances are, the device in your hand is probably just 20% phone and the back of the box boasts cool internet stuff like"Web Browsing", "Search the Internet", "Upload your pictures" and my favourite - "Podcasts!" Problem is, with your old black & white screen phone, you've never actually considered what you're considering now - "should I 3G?"

The reason I'm writing this is because so many of my friends have asked me about whether they should subscribe to 3G or not. The answer is always the same: "Well, what are you going to use it for?"

So, in the best interests of saving time and staying consistent to what I'm going to say again and again, I'm going to put it here so I can tell my pals "Go read my blog." :) Oh, and this may help you to.

Mobile Internet?

I've always dreamed of having the internet with me wherever I go ever since TMNet launched its Hotspots (back in 2000), and I owned a Palm T3. With a Wi-Fi card, I imagined myself sitting daily by Starbucks and casually browsing the internet. And having people stare at me in envy as they walked past. That didn't happen.

Today, the scenario has been much improved. Even your local Ah-Beng coffee shop might have Wi-Fi, you'll never know. But IMHO, Wi-fi spots still just aren't ubiquitous enough.

My opinion is that in Malaysia, if you want to really enjoy having Internet wherever you go, you'll need to plonk down that RM 99 or whatever for unlimited 3G or EDGE. And don't try to go for the pay-as-you-go package, the amount of data needed to be downloaded even via simple surfing will burn a hole in your pocket at the end of the month.

I've only ever used Maxis 3G, and I've found it decent, except in my own house in Bangsar where I have extremely spotty coverage. Reports I've read say Celcom has better coverage and transfer rates for 3G, but I can't verify how good that is. Maybe when DiGi launches a 3G service we'll see better service? Who knows?

Either way, I don't think there's really a need to switch lines over 3G service, so stick to whichever mobile operator you're on and just subscribe to the unlimited data package, which is actually a good deal IMHO.

Five Things I do on the Internet

Now here's the crunch. How useful or worth it your investment into unlimited data is going to be really depends on your needs and what your device can do. Your needs will probably vary, so maybe I'll just share you mine.

For the sake of reference, I use a Nokia N95 to do all this stuff down here.

1. Catch up on my Forums reading
I follow a lot of forums, either for Warhammer 40k or just random technology forums. I may not post a lot of replies, but I love reading these forums off my N95 in between wait-periods. When I'm waiting for my next meeting outside. When I'm waiting for Lydia whilst she's shopping. When I go visit some relatives house and found that I have nothing to do.


2. Podcasts

I think I've posted somewhere that I love podcasts and listen to about 2 - 3 a day. What I personally do is I'll download the podcasts throughout the day onto my N95, and turn them on to listen to them whilst I'm out driving. As I spend an average of 1.5 hours in my car everyday, that's about 1.5 hours filled with listening to the content I like - again, Technology news and geek news. Actually, that's how I stay updated.


3. Post my pictures up and comment on other people's pictures
Since Share Online 3.0 was released, I've just been having a lot of fun with Flickr on my N95 that I haven't had before. I love taking pictures (either with my Canon 300D or N95) but hate taking the time to slowly load them to Flickr one by one. So it's really a boon for me to post up pictures directly from my N95 (plus it takes decent pictures too). Also, when I have spare time and I see KY or Suan posting some silly pictures, I'll just go leave a silly comment lah.


4. Watching silly YouTube clips - (I KILL YOU!)
A while back, YouTube launched their video app that allows Flash Lite 3 enabled mobile devices to watch ANY YouTube video (yeah, not just the crappy "selected" mobile videos). I downloaded the one for Nokia S60 devices, but there's other versions for selected Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola and LG phones too. Err...I use this to kill long periods of time or when I want to show some people a funny clip I found but don't have a laptop or internet connection handy. Case in point, this was how I and a few friends watched that Achmed, the Dead Terrorist clip. I KILL YOU!


5. Connecting my Laptop to the internet.
Yeaps, you can get really broadband like speeds through your 3G connection and it doesn't have to be just enjoyed by your mobile. I find that when I'm out and about at work, I'll use my N95 to connect my Thinkpad to the internet and download mails via VPN or just update my blog. It's pretty straightforward, and if you are a Maxis user, you can find out how to configure it here. If you're Nokia user, like me, then you could just use PC Suite's One Touch Access app like below:

Nokia Internet Connection

6. Twitter-ing!
Not too long ago I discovered a mobile app that allows me to send Twitter updates to my Twitter account. It's called Twibble! and can be found here. This is probably why you see more Twitter updates from me nowadays.


7. Email
The old faithful. I check my company mail and also gmail on my account. This is especially useful when you're ebaying for stuff like me and I want instant email updates as the bids draw to a close.


Okay, this is just the tip of the ice-berg of what you could do with a 3G connection, and the best part of it is...they're all free (save the RM 99 monthly fee for the package). Yeaps, no extra charges needed for extra services.

And there's much more to do - buy stuff off Amazon via a dedicated app, use eBay mobile to place bids, download and install new apps via MOSH - the list goes on.

But just to conclude before I get too long-winded. If you have the urge to do any of the above, and do it frequently, then I'd say go for it! 3G, I mean. The technology in Malaysia is ripe for the picking. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wii!!! The Nuffnang Pajama Party report

So right before the Nuffnang Pajama Party, I had a really difficult time contemplating if I should wear the Chipster pajama I had painstakingly made. If I wore it, I would probably look like a doofus the whole night, and be mistaken for a Singaporean (more on this later). If I didn't, I might miss out on the chance to win a prize.

Nuffnang Pajama Party
Nuffnang Pajama Party 08. Hope we have more.

Thankfully, I had KY as my blogging guru and advisor and he promptly made my mind up for me by giving me some encouragement along the lines of "Don't be a #@%^$! If you don't want to wear it, I'll wear it and if I win something, I'll keep it."

With a Wii or iPod Touch at stake, I decided to wear it.

Nuffnang Pajama Party
Sinsei KY and me.

Now this would be an extremely long post about a great party that's already covered in many, many other blogs such as this, this and this. So I'll summarise what I thought was the best parts of the pary and then answer some of the questions I got asked for wearing Chipster packaging on me.

The best stuff at the NuffNang Pajama Party according to davidlian

5. Games
The games were fabulous. I particularly enjoyed the 'movie partners' game. Imagine having to sift through a massive crowd of people to find 14 other Han Solos or Princess Leias.

4. Freebie Gifts
Loved the bedtime themed prizes and the GSC Movie vouchers (where did you get that idea from, Su Ann? hehe...) Like any blogger, I welcome free SWAG.

3. Watching some blogger pay 8,000 NuffNang dollars for a kiss from Dawn Yang!
Priceless! Just see below:

Pic shamelessly borrow from Timothy Tiah's blog

2. Winning the Wii!
Again, priceless! Totally unexpected. Sorry Kim.

Finally, No. 1 best thing about going to the party:

1. Meeting other bloggers
This is more than priceless. I can't remember the names of everyone I met, but here are some: David Cheong, FireAngel, Eyeris, Samantha Lim, Li Suan, Kate, and a host of a lot more people. It was great meeting you guys, send me some pics so I can post them here!

And now, on to the...

Q&A on the Chipster Suit

1. Are you Singaporean?
Nope. i'm not. Why do you ask?

Because your suit makes you look very kiasu. So I thought you're Singaporean lar!
... [no comment :/]

2. Did Chipster pay you to wear this?
Nope again. But they did promise some darn awesome prizes which I DID want to win.

3. Seriously now, is it hot wearing all that packging?
Hmm... that's a debatable question. Inside here the air-conditioning is rather cold, so I guess I'm rather snug. But really, the packaging is quite insular and helps keep your Chipster chips warm and crispy. It also reflects your body heat really well, so maybe Chipster can diversify into Antarctic clothing sometime in the future?

4. Where did you get the idea from?
Honestly, I thought it was a really obvious idea. The clues were all there: "How I sleep better with Chipster?" "Pajama Party?" "Do a quirky blogpost?". In fact, I was terrified that someone else would have the same idea and actually have better craft skills than me (I've consistently been graded D for art in school).

5. Are you wearing anything underneath all that packaging?
Er...no. Duh! Of course lah! I wouldn't risk stepping out into the public wearing nothing but Chipster packaging would I? Of course, the PR answer I'd give is:

"Due to the insular nature of the packaging and the way it reflects heat, it is necessary for me to wear a layer of cotton to ensure that heat is not directly reflected back onto my skin, which causes excessive sweating and dehydration."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Random updates , technology speeds up my life

Update 1: I'm going to Brisbane

Landed and safe. Whew.

This happened in a whirl yesterday when wife SMSed me at about 9:30 a.m. in the morning and said, "AirAsia is having a free ticket giveaway and tickets to Brisbane are still available! QUICK!!! Tell me if you want to go?"

"Okay honey, I'll go call some friends and see if anyone wants to go."

Picking up the phone, I called a couple of buddies.... "You have three hours to make a decision before the tickets are all gone. Quick. Make the decision."

There was much flip-flopping in the decision-making, but in the end, two other friends joined in to make it a motley crew of 4 flyers to Brisbane. Calming down at 12:30 p.m. yesterday, I thought to myself, "Wow, that's the quickest trip I've planned." This morning, I still can't believe I'm going to Brisbane.

Technology's really accelerated our lives and sometimes, I'm not sure if our brains can make good decisions fast enough. Thanks to the magic of SMS, the Internet and Telegraphic Credit Card transactions, I've committed to go for a trip that didn't cross my mind even just 28 hours ago.

Things really happen fast, don't they?

Update 2: I snap a nice pic of Bukit Bintang at night

One more contribution to Soul of the Night. Guess where I had to stand to snap the pic below?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Best Swag Ever - world's lightest Thinkpad?

In my four years as a PR consultant, I've seen a lot of different kinds of swag (stuff we give journalists when they attend media events). Thumb drives. T-Shirts. Jackets. Genuine Formula 1 Team shirts. Key Chains. CDs. Mugs. Paper weights. You name it, it's probably been given out.

Today we had a delivery to our office. A huge, huge box of Lenovo swag. But you can't imagine the delight when we started pulling out Thinkpads out of the box.


The photo above shows how much smaller it is in dimensions versus my current T60 Thinkpad. :) Sleek and small, I love it.


Eevon just loves working on it.


Me too.

So what's this mystery Thinkpad? It's a notebook.


Yes, I meant it literally. But isn't it just so cool?

Latest paint job: Callidus Assassin

Time to diffuse the politics-heavy talk with a bit of hobbying.

I finished painting up my Callidus Assassin last week and I must say I'm pretty pleased with the paint job. This is the first time i drybrushed over black and it looks neater than I expected. I also did a bit more extensive modding to the base of the miniature with a skeleton taken from the D&D miniature range and repainted the skelly to look more warhammer-ish.

Callidus Assassins are perhaps the most insidious of all Officio Assassinorium operatives, able to change their appearance into just about anyone with Poly-Morphine. In game terms, this means you can alter the deployment of your enemy leaving his transport stranded on one end of the table or off-position his heavy weapons team. Polymorphine also means she can appear anywhere within the enemy and charge into battle the same turn with her powerful C'tan blade.

Best of all, she's a beauty to look at on the tabletop.

Callidus Front
Callidus in front.

Callidus Back
Callidus at the back

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blogs to Criticise the Government?

There was a rather interesting story in The Star today that quoted former Minister of Energy, Water and Communication Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik as saying Gerakan would start blog-monitoring and even perhaps employ "blogging" as a counter-measure.

He (Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik) added that Gerakan would set up a team to monitor opinions voiced in blogs and websites on the Internet and maybe even come out with their own blogs to criticise the governments in the five states which fell to the Opposition.
Here's a two-point opinion.

No.1: Blog monitoring does work. Many corporations have blog-monitoring programmes in place. So use it. Know what people are saying and use that information constructively. If you're going to do this, BEST!

No. 2: Forget about setting up your own blogs if the explicit agenda is to criticise the government (By which we assume the "Opposition" governments in Selangor and Penang).

The number one thing a blog has to be -especially a blog coming from a political party - is authentic, real and about issues, not being critical for the sake of criticism. The thing is: you can blog all you want, but who's going to read? The people who read blogs aren't reading it because they support the Opposition (contrary to common perception), they are reading it because they find the person posting makes a fair argument, is worth listening to, and is well-versed in issues surrounding Malaysians.

Oh, and please stay away from setting up a phony-blog by an "independent" blogger. The backlash will be far worse than what these guys got.

davidlian visits: Lookout Point - feat. Group Samuel

Two weeks ago, our church youth group (SAMUEL! Yeah!) went for an outing at this place called Lookout point. Snuggled somewhere off the road between Ulu Langat and Ampang, Lookout Point boasts an eco-resort, a couple of restaurants of varying quality, and a fantastic view of the city.

Just thought I'd share a couple of pics from our visit and point out yet another great "secret place" in Malaysia that many people still don't know about. Wondering if tourists are brought here on their buses?

Lookout Point Composite
As you can see, we were somewhere between the outskirts of Ampang and the road to Ulu Langat.

Ignore my poser friend, check out the view of the city. :)

The view at night is breathtaking. Really good.

My youth group - Samuel. Striking a pose.

We settled down to have some food at the cheapest joint there. I ordered Kam Heong fried rice.

Which I promptly regretted when I saw Yee Ling's Portuguese rice. More meat!

Of course, no one could beat Jonathan's Western Cuisine.

The nice, resortie-ish food complex. Got many restaurants to try.

The guys fooling around. Check out the boy-band album cover expressions.

Not to be out-done, the girls demanded a picture too.

And we all went home with some very full stomachs. Don't start the rumour, this isn't my stomach.

If you're looking for a place to go for a nice visit our outing, check out Lookout Point. Seriously. We went there for the first time and surprised ourselves with how much fun we had. Of course, you could join us anytime we have an outing or event again - we have these sort of things every Saturday (that's why I'm always busy every weekend, guys). Just drop me a line if you want to come along.

PS. If you're thinking of going to Lookout Point, I'd warn you to beware of the jam that starts at 8:30 p.m. or so when many, many couples come up to have a romantic dinner and view of the city. As the access road is single laned, you'll have hard time going down. But don't let that deter you anyway.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Magic trick LoLCat

Humorous Pictures

Bet everyone who reads my blog already know what LoLCats is. They are cats that make you laugh out loud. Like. "Haha." Okay, I'll stop making my own lame jokes. Here's the link if you don't.

How about you kiss and make up for the Rakyat?

Datuk Wong Chun Wai pointed out a possibility in his Editorial comment yesterday:

(But) federal-state relations will never be the same again.

With the Barisan still in control of the Federal Government, it may even review its numerous projects in states lost to the Opposition.

As the most industrialised state in Malaysia, Selangor will be affected in many ways.

I don't think the Datuk's observation are far from wrong given the fact that politics is factious and petty, but I'm hoping this doesn't happen. In fact, it would be much better for the BN-led Federal Government to keep up the projects, ensure they are completed on time and show the rakyat that its intentions and actions are always their best interests regardless of who controls the state government.

Why? Because (and I'm offering an alternative viewpoint, with no expertise or research other than Mamak stall polls here) the elections showed the issues weren't about race or religion or loyalties to political parties. We've gone past that despite what you may read.

Personally, I'm not a party-voter. Neither are most of my friends. They may support either BN or Opposition, but their reasons for supporting is either because "Chew Mei Fun has really done a lot for our community" or because "Tan Kok Wai was the one who fought to abolish the unnecessary Cheras Toll."

The issue for us was whether the existing governors, councillors and people in power have done their job and if they were honest, forthright and transaparent people with no shady dealings. What we want is a government (whether it's a BN or Opposition government) that's going to be responsible with taxpayer's money, transparent in its administration, and concerned for the Rakyat's needs.

Thus, watch this: it's extremely important how BN treats the four new 'Opposition' states and the rakyat there this next four to five years. It's going to be an interesting dynamic and I'm curious to see if there will be more cooperation between BN and Opposition (wishful thinking?) or outright rejection and skirmishing.

BN, the ball is in your court (given you're forming the Federal Government).

Be nice, gentlemanly and genuinely concerned, then maybe you'll win back some votes and gain some love and respect. Be snarky, mean and petty (withdraw funding) and it'll only harden the rakyat's hearts for the Opposition.

Because at the end of the day, it isn't about whether you're Opposition or BN. It's about getting the job done right for the Rakyat.

Back to reality: Want to blog, but got to work.

Yups, elections are done. Yup, from reading the reports yesterday and today, I've got comments, opinions and points to make. But, it's back to work as usual and though I'd love to blog, work beckons.

Hmmm... same with you?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

'Alternative media' shakes up elections

This year's elections have proved to be a real eye-opener. Not just from a political viewpoint (of which I am less than qualified to comment) but from a pure technology-communication point-of-view.

As I type, I'm watching TV3 and watching the two hosts (whose names I can't get) discuss how 'teknologi moden' (modern technology) has played such an important role in this year's electoral race. The MalaysianInsider named 'Alternative Media' one of the big winners in this year's elections. Right now, I'm refreshing at least four newssites and blogs, monitoring RSS feeds for another dozen or so, and chatting with friends as real-time results are coming in.

Redundant to say, I know, but news travels so much faster these days.

The guy on TV is now commenting that it's been the government's goal and desire to push the proliferation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a tongue-in-cheek remark that parties should plan their communications strategies taking into consideration blogs, SMSes and the Internet in the next elections. Well, some have already and reaped the results with glee.

Yes, people, this election isn't just about an alternative front. It's also about alternative media. If there's one event in any given country that highlights the coming of age of the internet (and not just the internet, but also other forms of techno-communication) it's got to be the elections.

I've written in admiration of the clever Obama campaign. Also, about the giant strides forward some traditional media institutions have taken to putting the elections online. The blogosphere is abuzz with sites and every other personal blog shares a personal opinion about the elections.

The oft-overlooked attribute about this 'new media' or 'alternative media' is the feedback mechanisms that are so richly embedded into the system. Yes, these are great ways of disseminating information and pushing your political agenda. But it's also probably one of the best ways to just listen.

MalaysianInsider applauded DAP for having its pulse on what the Malaysian Voter was concerned with and it's probably no surprise that this same party that has achieved (as of now) a record performance of its own also boasts perhaps the strongest links with the blogosphere and 'Alternative Media'. Jeff Ooi's blog is probably one of the most well-known political blogs, but you also have Lim Kit Siang, Teresa Kok and even my favourite, Jenice Lee, blogging.

And probably not just blogging, but reading other people's blogs. Because if you stopped to read, you'd see that just by reading a couple of personal blogs, you could get a sense of what the public sentiment is and what the key issues are. When your candidate responds to a comment you posted on his / her blog, I'd bet you'd feel that at the very least, you've been listened to.

So, in the next five years will we perhaps see every politician with their own blog? Well, if the answer is yes, then I'd be estatic. Because blogs are as close as you can get to hearing the truth of what a politician says short of attending a ceramah and hearing it yourself. Better still, blogs don't just disappear (unless you want to immediately discredit yourself).

If you want to know what Kit Siang is about, take some time, read through his blog. The moment he doesn't live up to what he talks about, vote him out. Either way, the blog makes him more and more accountable. Accountable because he himself has put what he wants to say in print (digitally, at least) for all to see. So he'd better make sure he does all he can to deliver on those promises.

Right now, my feeds are slowing down to a trickle and I can no longer get onto MalaysiaKini or MalaysianInsider. So maybe, for next elections, not just more blogs but more bandwidth?



Standing in the middle of the field today at about 6:00 p.m.; Barry shouted across to me and said:" Look, look! Take a picture."

Friday, March 7, 2008

This is so funny...

Just read this...I won't comment. Except that I am SOOOOOO looking forward to Iron Man!

PS. and that I really love Fake Steve Jobs aka Dan Lyons.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Anyone interested in winning a Nokia N82?

Hi guys,

In the midst of all the election posts, I thought I'd just ask if anyone out there wanted to win a Nokia N82.

Nokia Malaysia (full disclosure: my client) is now calling for public entries to join in on the Nokia Nseries Wireless Adventure 2: Discover the Soul of the Night. All you have to do is sign up and if you're one of the eight lucky people selected to run the race on April 5th, you'll win an N82 to keep. The winner of the race will also get to go to Hong Kong. All you have to do is go here or www.nseries.com/soulofthenight

SOTN - Capture

Okay, that's the winning stuff part. I'd also like to share a bit of the whole concept of Discover the Soul of the Night - it's not just a race, but it's an online platform where we're trying to encourage people to go online and post photos of interesting locations, events and activities or just things they've seen at night.

Of course, if you're curious and also want to discover stuff that happens at night, you can also do just that by checking out what other members have posted. Better still, if you use a Nokia Nseries device, you can download an application that'll let you post stuff up immediately.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bad, bad service at expensive restaurant *geram*

So we decided to go out for lunch today to celebrate a colleague's confirmation. We settled on one of them none-too-cheap restaurants over at Gardens, Midvalley and were all hyped up for a sumptious meal. After all, as you can see from the pic below, it promised "Hospitality with a Heart."


Turns out to be another fanciful tagline that means nothing because the whole experience quickly turned into a highly stressful one, leaving me to walk away wondering: "Why are we paying so much money for so mundane food (which you can get from a hawker stall by the way) if not for good service (which is still charged at 10% service charge)?

Instead, we had a couple of immigrant workers (read: cheap labour) serving us and getting us off the wrong foot by messing up our order. Despite repeated attempts to communicate, they just didn't get it.

First, it was the wrong drink.

Then, they refused to cancel an order of rice (beats me why?) until we "insisted" quite "firmly."

The food came slow. The bill came slower. And our dessert, well... let's just say when I peered over after waiting for 15 minutes, I saw one worker scolding another worker for forgetting to "process" the order.

The best part of the whole experience? Well, my colleage ordered a takeaway of his drink. Mind you, this was a new order for a new drink, just that he wanted it packed for takeaway. Guess what he got?


His RM 8.00 Lemongrass mixed with syrup water was packed in a plastic bag a la mamak stall. What? From a high-end restaurant, I expect better. *shakes head*

Well, I'm sorry to say this but, is the restaurant business so difficult that you need to overcharge AND cut corners by hiring cheap labour who can't speak the language whilst saving money by giving us plastic bags for takeaway?

*shakes head*

RIP: Gary Gygax

Once upon a time, children and adolescents used to play with toy soldiers and fashionable dolls with little more than their imagination, hands and mouth.

Then, sometime in the 70s, a man came along and thought: "what fun it would be if we added dice, swords and dragons to this?" Thus, the great-grandfather of all Role-Playing Games (yes, even World of Warcraft) was born - Dungeons and Dragons. Or rather, its predecessor first - Chainmail.

The man responsible for our great hobby - Gary Gygax - has passed away today according to Troll Lord Games, his latest publisher. He aged 69.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This song is dedicated to all you PR Consultants out there

Boss shared this with me. We sniggered.

This is dedicated to all the PR Consultants out there coz you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're my client, this is not aimed at you. I love all my clients *saysng*. It's just, so, funny. :)


In case you can't hear the lyrics, here it is:

Sometimes you call me up and beg me for free advice...
You're stealing from me, and wondering why I'm not nice...
My mind and my time--are my merchandise.
Don't make me say this twice:

If you come to my office or call my phone, I'm billing time.
If you stop me at parties to whine and moan, I'm billing time.

You say you want the best but then you don't pay the fee.
Motions cost money, but you think they should be free.

You cry "Oh why, is my bill so high?" [my bill so high?]
Well let me clarify:

If you come to my office or call my phone, I'm billing time.
If you stop me at parties to whine and moan, I'm billing time.
If I think of you when I am all alone, I'm billing time.
If you're late for appointments, I will be waiting... and billing time.
Still billing time...
I'm billing time.

Also, I found this on the net, and am not sure who to attribute to. So if this is your work, (and I'm speaking to "you") let me know ok? You're brilliant!

davidlian wants: an Eee PC

A while ago, I was tagged by SlowCatchupKuan to post my "dream" gadget on my blog. So, I went home and took a nap, but quite unsuccessfully, I found that when I woke up, I couldn't remember what gadgets I had dreamt about.

After reading Kuan's post more carefully, I think she may have actually meant what gadget I would want. So here goes:

Pic from Slashgear.com

I had just gotten rid of my Acer notebook last year in favour of a home-brewed desktop setup (for the games) and have my Nokia N95 for my mobile computing needs. Then, I met this guy at an event with a cool looking, darn compact sub-notebook with a cool Linux interface. It looked like those RM 8,000 Viaos Sony had and i thought "Surely must be super-ex one lah."

We started to chat about general computing stuff when I popped the question: "How much?"

"RM 1,400."


"Yeap. There are cheaper models."

That pretty much sold it for me. I love the concept of the EeePC - 4 - 8 GB of storage space (put everything else on your thumbdrive), 1 GB of RAM, Built-in Graphics Card, 7" Screen (with a 9" version on the way), nicely sized (though not full) keyboard, WiFi, BlueTooth. It's the perfect carry around sub-notebook for when you want to use a PC to do something.

It's light. It's tough enough (especially since everything is solid state) . And it looks cool.

I could see myself using this at Starbucks to browse the internet, or sitting in front of a TV typing up a blog post. Or paired with the N95 (you can install Windows on the Eee PC) to do some heavyweight browsing.

So why haven't I gotten one? Coz I'm waiting for this 9", 12GB version to come out sometime mid-2008.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Free Books? Neil Gaiman and Harper Collins says so...

I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, simply love his dark mix of mythology and reality.

Just yesterday, Mr. Gaiman and his publisher Harper-Collins just announced the availabilty of one of his classics - American Gods - for free reading on the Harper-Collins website. Apparently, this is going to be some sort of experiment to see if people who take to reading full whole books online would buy an actual hard-cover or paperback.

I think this is a fantastic idea because the most unnerving thing about purchasing books online is you never really get to know the content of the book, especially if you can't find that same book in bookstores. Preview pages are great, but sometimes, I want to just browse through the entire thing before I buy.

By putting full books online for reading / browsing, publishers are effectively translating the whole in-bookstore browsing experience online. It'll be just like walking into a brick and mortar bookstore, picking up a book you'll potentially buy, and reading the first couple of chapters before actually buying the book.

Naturally, there's a fear that people will just read the entire book online, but in my humble experience, there's nothing quite like holding a real book in your hand. Besides, book piracy is already rampant on the internet and you can easily find best-sellers on any 'pirate' torrent sites out there, so I doubt putting full books online for free is going to dampen sales at all. In fact, it may encourage it.

Kudos to Harper Collins and Mr. Gaiman for this move. Amazon, what are you waiting for? Enough with crummy first chapters already!