Amazon

Monday, November 30, 2009

I’m a Sherlock Holmes in the Making

Yay!
Another contest from Nuffnang.
Hopefully I win this one.

This time this is about a movie premier of Sherlock Holmes.

The movie is going to be released on 24th December but lucky Nuffies get to watch it two days earlier.Woohoo!

Here is the official link for the premiere by Nuffnang.

The task here is to hunt for this (pic below) in two blogs.

Fortunately, I had help from a friend and found them:

The first one:
Second:
Anyways. Wish me luck!

And thanks Nuffnang if you give me the tickets.

Are you 701 Enough?


An entry for 701Panduan "Are you 701 Enough?"

701Panduan is Malaysia Online Directory

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Malaysia’s broadband quality is below par, says Oxford study

We all know broadband in Malaysia is slow but Oxford had to make it more official by telling us that our broadband connection sucks.

Malaysia’s broadband quality is below par, says Oxford study

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 – Malaysia was ranked a poor 48 out of 66 countries for Internet broadband quality in a study conducted by Oxford University and sponsored by Cisco.

The global study on broadband quality conducted by Oxford’s Said Business School listed Malaysia among countries which had Internet speeds which were “below today’s applications threshold.”

Malaysia is listed in the same category but above countries like the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Vietnam and Indonesia. China, Malta, Brazil and Thailand are among countries just ahead of Malaysia in broadband quality but still in the same low category.

Countries like Singapore, Britain, Australia, Spain, Turkey and the Ukraine were listed above Malaysia as having Internet speeds “meeting needs of today’s applications.”

Switzerland, the United States, Russia, Taiwan and Hong Kong “comfortably enjoy today’s applications. Crucially, Korea, Japan, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Netherlands, Denmark and Romania were identified as countries with broadband speeds that were “ready for tomorrow.”

The study was conducted between May and July this year and Broadband Quality Scores (BQS) were awarded based on 24 million records sourced from speed tests.

A similar study conducted last year established that download speeds of 3.75 Mbps and upload of 1 Mbps was the quality requirement needed for today’s applications such as social networking, video steaming, video chatting and file sharing.

For what was classified as “tomorrow’s requirements” speeds of 11.25 Mbps for downloads and 5 Mbps for uploads was needed for visual networking, HD video streaming, consumer telepresence, large file sharing and HD IPTV applications.

According to the study, the research team had found that broadband quality was linked to social and economic benefits and that countries with high broadband quality have broadband on their national agenda.

In a statement earlier today, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang described the study as confirmation of Malaysia’s unchecked plunge in international IT competitiveness.

“Internationally, broadband quality has moved from one of penetration, i.e. who had broadband connection and who did not, to broadband speed but Malaysia is till bogged down in the initial stage.

“Some six months ago, when Datuk Dr Rais Yatim was also appointed Communications Minister apart from his other portfolios of Information, Culture and Arts, I had called on him to give top priority to turn Malaysia into a broadband power, both in broadband penetration rate as well as in broadband speed if Malaysia is to enhance its competitiveness to take its rightful place in the global arena.

“I had asked what Malaysia’s national average broadband speed was, because nobody was talking about 2Mbps – we are lucky if we get 512 or 256kbps without disruption!”

Malaysians in selected areas will get access to high-speed broadband only by the first quarter of next year.

Residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, both in Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam have been promised broadband speeds of 10 Mbps and above under the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project.

Residents in high-worth economic zones such as the rest of the Klang Valley and Iskandar Malaysia are expected to get the service later with 1.3 million households expected to have access by 2012.

The HSBB project is a public-private partnership between Telekom Malaysia and the government. Telekom is expected to invest RM8.9 billion of its own funds while the government will put in RM2.4 billion.

Telekom has so far claimed RM290 million from the government for work done.

Malaysia currently lags behind advanced countries in terms of quality and affordability of its broadband offerings, which has been confirmed by the Oxford University study.

While some countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden and Finland have been enjoying speeds up to 100 Mbps for several years now, most Malaysian still make do with speeds of 1 Mbps or less.

Recently, Singapore, China and Australia have also upped the stakes in this strategic sector and announced massive initiatives to wire up their countries with fibre optics.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/39223-malaysias-broadband-quality-is-below-par-says-oxford-study-

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A new hope for cancer patients

New Zealand scientists find anti-cancer drug


WELLINGTON: Two New Zealand scientists have discovered a new class of anti-cancer medicines that kill tumors without the side effects of traditional therapies, China's Xinhua news agency said citing a local media report Saturday.

Medicinal chemist Jeffrey Smaill and cancer biologist Adam Patterson, from Auckland University, said their "prodrugs" inactive compounds triggered by the body's own metabolic processes have already shown dramatic results in the lab.

Their discovery, announced at an international cancer drug conference in Boston this week, is being heralded as a major breakthrough in fighting hard-to-treat cancers, like those of the lungs, brain, pancreas and stomach, according to The Dominion Post newspaper.

Smaill, who has spent 10 years synthesising the compounds, said they worked by targeting the proteins in tumors that tell cells to multiply.

"The main problem with previous drugs developed to target these proteins was they also affected normal, healthy tissue in the skin and gut, causing serious side effects such as severe diarrhea, rashes, nausea and vomiting, which limited the dose a patient could tolerate," he said.

The surface of a healthy gut is renewed every 48 hours, about the same rate as a tumor.

For half a century, scientists have known that two-thirds of tumors have patches containing low levels of oxygen, called hypoxic tumor cells, which are harder to treat with radiation and more likely to spread.

Dr Patterson said the prodrugs actually use this feature against the tumor, by zeroing in on hypoxic cells before they activate.

"If we can target and kill these cells we should be able to dramatically improve the outcome for cancer patients," he said.

Unlike other drugs that only stay in the tumor for a few hours, the prodrug sticks to the tumor for over 72 hours.

"It's very common for tumors to start regrowing after you stop administering this type of cancer drug. But after we stopped doses of this prodrug, the tumors still hadn't regrown 30 days later," he said. - Bernama

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/28/nation/20091128174739&sec=nation

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Everyoneconnects: Event day (21st NOV)


It’s been a few weeks since “Through My Window” has been aired on the radio stations starting with a mystery package placed in front of the radio stations.

From there on, a lot of hype had been generated both online and through printed media about the song.

A lot of activities soon followed and many people had fun watching and enjoying all the activities in store which are posted online. http://everyoneconnects.net

Bunkface soon became a popular name and the song got stuck into everyone’s head with its tune.

Fast forward to a few weeks later, on 21st November 2009 at Bukit Bintang a big event was held.

As you can see there are many people who came that day to enjoy the event and had a blast.

They had a good time enjoying the Sing Along event which subsequently made it Malaysia’s largest sing-along event.

People at the event

KL Stompers

The event was held on Bintang Walk from 3pm onwards with many other smaller activities such as the KL Hop on Hop Off Bus tour starting as early as 8.30am.

As you can see there are many people who came that day to enjoy the event and had a blast.

They had a good time enjoying the Sing Along event which subsequently made it Malaysia’s largest sing-along event.

Hitz.fm hosts JJ and Ean were there to emcee the event along with Reshmonu.

JJ and Ean.

Reshmonu

Bunkface!!!

Indie band performance.

The “Mic” of the day

Super Dancer Online Tournament

Everyone was having fun on that day but when it rained the SDO event had to be canceled due to rain at about 5pm.

However, when the rain stopped, the show went on with our Indie band performances.

After the rain in Bukit Bintang

Rocking on till the night.

Our Indie bands rocking on stage.

Night performances.

The performances were continued at around 6pm until 8pm where Bunkface appeared for the finale and sang another song on stage which is 'Revolusi'.

You can view the song below which I found.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T62aYKjBbg

Bunkface singing “Revolusi”.

Overall, this was a successful event I can say and I thank you TM for organizing such a wonderful event and introducing us to Bunkface.

(Most picture are taken from www.facebook.com/everyoneconnects and www.everyoneconnects.net)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The 12 Scams of Christmas.

The holiday season is coming while most people are being jolly, there are some who take this as a season of scamming.

Below are 12 tips by Mcaffe.

McAfee warns about '12 Scams of Christmas'


Retailers aren't the only ones gearing up for the holiday season. Criminals are also out in force.

To highlight the increased crime during the holidays, security company McAfee has come up with the "12 Scams of Christmas" ranging from bogus electronic greeting cards that deliver malware instead of cheer to fake charities that steal your money and your identity.

It's especially important to be extra careful this time of year, says McAfee's David Marcus. "The bad guys know people are spending more time online, they're paying more bills online so [the criminals] stand a chance of being a bit more successful this time of year.

In a podcast interview (scroll down to listen), Marcus counted down the 12 scams of Christmas starting with:

  1. Charitable phishing scams: Marcus warns consumers to be wary of e-mails that appear to be from legitimate charities. Not only will they take your money and deprive charities of needed funds, but they will also steal your credit card information and identity.

  2. Fake invoices from delivery services: During this period, scammers will send out fake invoices and delivery notifications appearing to come from Federal Express, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service or even the U.S. Customs Service saying that they were unable to deliver a package to your address. They ask you to confirm your address and give them credit card information to pay for delivery.

  3. Social networking friend requests: Bad guys take advantage of this social time of year by sending out authentic looking friend requests via e-mail. Marcus recommends that you not click on those links but sign into Facebook and other services and look for friend requests from the site itself. Clicking on a link could install malware on your computer or trick you into revealing your password.

  4. Holiday e-cards: Be careful before clicking on a holiday e-card, especially if it's from a site you haven't heard of. This is a way to deliver malware, pop-ups, and other forms of unwanted advertising. Some fake e-cards will look like they come from Hallmark or other legitimate companies, so pay close attention and make sure it's from someone you know. If you're going to send an e-card, be sure you're dealing with a reputable service lest you risk infecting yourself and your friends.

  5. Fake "luxury" jewelry: If you see an offer for luxury gifts from companies like Cartier, Gucci, and Tag Heuer at a price that's too good to be true, it probably isn't true. These links could lead you to malware and take your money or merchandise that will probably never arrive (or be fake if it does). Some of these sites, according to McAfee, even display the logos of the Better Business Bureau.

  6. Practice safe holiday shopping. Make sure your wireless network is secure and be sure you're shopping on sites that are secure. Though it isn't an iron clad guarantee, you should look for the lock icon in the lower right corner of your browser and make sure the Web page starts with https. The "s" stands for "secure."

  7. Christmas carol lyrics can be dangerous: Bad guys know that people are searching for holiday related sites for music, holiday graphics, and other festive media. During this time, they create fraudulent holiday related sites.

  8. Job search related scams: With the unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, there are plenty of job seekers looking for work. Beware of online offers for high paying jobs or at-home money making schemes. Some of these sites ask for money up front, which is a good way for criminals not only to steal your "set up fee" but misuse your credit card too. Marcus said that some "get rich quick" sites are all about money laundering, asking you to accept an inbound financial transfer and pay them.

  9. Auction site fraud: McAfee has observed a rise in fake auction sites during the holidays. Make sure you're actually going to eBay or whatever site you plan to deal with.

  10. Password stealing scams: Criminals use low-cost tools to uncover passwords, in some cases planting key logger software to record keystrokes. Once they get your passwords, they gain access to bank accounts and credit card accounts and send spam from your e-mail accounts.

  11. E-mail banking scams: A common type of phishing scam is sending out official looking e-mails that appear to come from your bank. Don't click on any links but type in your bank's Web address manually if you need to access your account.

  12. Files for ransom: Hackers use malware to gain control of your computer and lock your data files. To access your own data you have to pay them ransom.
Bottom line--Don't let the eggnog and holiday cheer keep you from using your critical thinking skills when you go online during the holiday season. And, of course, make sure your operating system is updated and that you're using up-to-date security software.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-19518_3-10403100-238.html

Being a "vegetable" for 23 years

Imagine if you were stuck in your body for 23 years being completely aware of your surroundings but not able to voice out your opinion.

Brain scan finds man was not in a coma--23 years later

Rom Houben has been trapped in a series of worst nightmares, including trying for 23 years to alert those around him that he was not in a coma. A new report suggests he's not alone in his experience.

Neurologist Steven Laureys used state-of-the-art brain scanning techniques to study Houben's cerebral cortex.

(Credit: Universite de Liege)

In 1983, Belgian engineering student and martial arts enthusiast Houben, then 20, was in a car accident that was thought to have left him in a vegetative state. Doctors relied on the widely-used Glasgow Coma Scale, assessing his eyes, verbal, and motor responses. What they failed to notice was that Houben was actually conscious--but completely paralyzed.

"I screamed, but there was no one to hear," he says in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. Three years ago, neurologist Steven Laureys used modern scanning techniques to discover that Houben's cerebral cortex was, in fact, functioning. (The doctor has only just now made Houben's story public.)

Houben, who communicates via a computer with a special keyboard activated with the slightest movement of his right hand, is now 46. He has spent more than half his life trapped in his own body, and says he only survived this excruciating existence by dreaming himself away. In the interview, this is what he typed:

I am called Rom. I am not dead. The nurses came, they patted me, they sometimes took my hand, and I heard them say "no hope." I meditated, I dreamed my life away--it was all I could do. I don't want to blame anyone--it wouldn't do any good. But I owe my life to my family. Everyone else gave up.
I studied what happened around me as if it were a tiny piece of world drama, the bizarre peculiarities of the other patients in the common room, the entry of the doctors into my room, the gossip of the nurses who were not embarrassed to speak about their boyfriends in front of "the extinct one." That made me an expert on relationships.

According to Laureys, Houben's case may be far more common than we'd like to think. The doctor, who leads the Coma Science Group and Department of Neurology at Liege University Hospital, says that while Houben's doctors were "not good," he's not sure better ones using this same coma scale would have detected brain activity either:

In Germany alone each year some 100,000 people suffer from severe traumatic brain injury. About 20,000 are followed by a coma of three weeks or longer. Some of them die, others regain health. But an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people a year remain trapped in an intermediate stage--they go on living without ever coming back again.

In his paper, Laureys writes that in about 40 percent of "vegetative state" cases he has analyzed, current brain scanning techniques reveal signs of varying levels of consciousness. A case is being made, it seems, to stop relying on the Glasgow Coma Scale and start looking more closely at brain scanning images.

Source:http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10403861-247.html

Philippines massacre: 22 bodies found in mass grave

With a total of 46 people dead, this is an incident which the people in the Philippines will never forget.

Philippines massacre: 22 bodies found in mass grave

AMPATUAN, Philippines: A few kilometres off the main highway, on a remote hilltop covered with waist-high grass, bodies lay with twisted hands reaching in the air.

They had been shot point-blank.

Nearby, bodies were being laid out under banana leaves Tuesday as police - their faces covered against the stench - unearthed a mass grave containing 22 victims from Monday's ambush on an election caravan.

The discovery brought the death toll to 46 -an unprecedented act of violence at the outset of the country's election season.

As many as five people remained unaccounted for.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and a neighboring southern province, sending extra troops and police to try to impose the rule of law.

"No effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable to the full limit of the law," she said.

Few think she will be successful in the impoverished, lawless region that has been outside the central government's reach for generations, and where warlords backed by private armies go by their own rules.

Authorities said the victims included at least 13 Filipino journalists from regional newspapers, TV and radio stations who were accompanying family members and supporters of a gubernatorial candidate out to file his nomination papers for May 2010 elections.

Noynoy Espina, vice chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said as many as 20 journalists may have been in the convoy, based on reports from union chapters in the area.

The figures could not be immediately reconciled, but still the deaths marked "the largest single massacre of journalists ever," according to Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "heinous crime committed in the context of a local election campaign" and hoped that "no effort will be spared to bring justice and to hold the perpetrators accountable," U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Dozens of gunmen intercepted the caravan as it traveled on a two-lane highway that cuts across vast open tracts of land and banana groves, police said.

They took some of the people to the grassy area, where the killings started.

Authorities found 24 bullet-riddled bodies sprawled on the ground next to five abandoned vehicles.

Police, aided by a backhoe, worked most of Tuesday to extricate the bodies from the mass grave.

All had been shot multiple times and were dumped on top of one another. One was a pregnant woman.

Grieving relatives helped identify their loved ones before they were given the bodies, covered by banana leaves, for burial.

The gubernatorial candidate, Ismael Mangudadatu, was not in the convoy because he had received death threats.

He accused a powerful political rival from the Amputuan clan of carrying out the killings.

Mangudadatu's wife, Genalyn, and his two sisters, were among the dead, he said.

In all, 21 women and 25 men died, said military spokesman Col. Jonathan Ponce.

Mangudadatu said four witnesses in his protection, whom he refused to identify, had told him the convoy was stopped by gunmen loyal to Andal Ampatuan Jr., a town mayor and rival, to prevent Mangudadatu's family from filing election papers.

"It was really planned because they had already dug a huge hole (for the bodies)," Mangudadatu said.

He said there were reports from the area that the militia had been blocking the road for a few days.

The Ampatuans, who have ruled one of the nation's poorest regions since 2001, could not be reached for comment.

Arroyo's peace adviser Jesus Dureza said he met Tuesday with Andal Ampatuan, the family's patriarch, and received assurances that his family would cooperate in the investigation.

It was not clear how far Arroyo's administration would go in trying to force the provincial warlords to give up their weapons and private armies.

But Maguindanao's provincial police chief and three other officers were relieved of duty and confined to camp after they were reported to have been seen with the pro-government militiamen who stopped the convoy, police said.

Such militiamen are meant to act as an auxiliary force mobilised by the police or military to fight rebels and criminals, but often they act as private enforcers of local warlords.

Much of the southern island of Mindanao, including Maguindanao province, used to be ruled by fiercely independent sultans who fought Spanish and American colonisers.

The political dynasties of the Ampatuans and the Mangudadatus behave in a much similar way - ruling by force, unopposed in their turfs with little outside interference.

Julkipli Wadi, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of the Philippines, said he doubted the national government's resolve in trimming the powers of political dynasties like the Ampatuans because they deliver votes during elections.

"Because of the absence of viable political institutions, powerful men are taking over," he said.

"Big political forces and personalities in the national government are sustaining the warlords, especially during election time, because they rely on big families for their votes." -- AP

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/25/nation/20091125091356&sec=nation

Monday, November 23, 2009

Coming Soon: AstroHD?

I'm pretty sure that most of us here have (or going to have) an HD TV.

The only problem is that most of us have only enough budget to spare to buy an original DVD and considering the fact that Blu-Ray Discs are the only True HD which we can obtain legally, there seems to be a limited number in choices when it comes to HD content.

Thankfully, Astro is finally announcing that it is going to release Astro HD by next month.
(but you need at least a new decoder)

Hopefully by then, we have better content and less rain disruptions.
(if we use the same satellite disc, we are going to have the same problems again)

http://www.measat.com/services_broadcasting_hdtv.html

Astro’s high definition future

PAY television operator Astro All Asia Networks, whose TV household penetration rate in Malaysia is almost reaching 50%, is aware that one size doesn’t fit all despite catering to the mass market.

Its customer spectrum ranges from the so-called “digital natives” to the rural population. At the same time, it has to cater to the needs of a complex, “Truly Asia” marketplace that is also becoming more educated, more well-travelled, more sophisticated and more demanding.

How does it plan to deal with these challenges? The answer: innovation in technology and content.

Datuk Rohana Rozhan ... ‘The whole idea is to evolve our technology and our platform so that we’re always ahead of consumer trends.’

Astro TV chief executive officer Datuk Rohana Rozhan says business as usual is no longer an option.

“We can’t just stick to one form of TV, which is linear TV, and serve one group of people the more mass we become. At the same time, we cannot forget our top-end customers who demand more of us. So we need both breadth and depth,” she tells StarBizWeek in an interview.

“In addition, we cannot ignore new media anymore. How content is consumed in the future is something that we have to be prepared for. Otherwise, in 10 years’ time or maybe less, when my son (who is currently 15 years old) becomes a customer of Astro, Astro will be irrelevant. So that’s how we look at the next phase where we want to go.”

Astro is evolving its content to include mobile and online content. Recently, it collaborated with Maxis to launch Malaysia’s first made-for-mobile entertainment series.

By next month Astro will launch high-definition (HD) TV, and in the first half of next year, it will re-introduce the personal video recorder (PVR), the satellite technology’s answer to video on demand.

“The whole idea,” Rohana says, “is to evolve our technology and our platform so that we’re always ahead of consumer trends.”

She is tight-lipped about the details of the HDTV launch, though she would say that customers would have to pay to enjoy HD content.

While declining to reveal the model being used by Astro, Rohana talks about those in overseas markets. “Some operators give you the same content in SD (standard definition) or in HD. Should you decide to take the content in HD, you pay extra.

“Some will also launch unique channels which have content you cannot have in SD. There may also be a window play, meaning earlier-release content. Even that you have to pay a la carte or per package for unique channels. We can pick and choose as to how we’ll launch HD in Malaysia.”

Astro, she adds, will come up with an economic commercial model for HD subscribers.

There are already 1.2 million Astro subscribers with flat-screen or high-definition TVs, she says. “The only HD content that’s available in Malaysia is Blu-ray and it’s far too expensive. Astro has decided that there’s a demand for HD products.”

On PVR, Rohana says Astro has 116 channels but some customers still complain there’s nothing to watch at particular times. The PVR, coupled with an improved electronic programme guide, will help to ensure there’s always something for subscribers to watch.

The PVR has a pause, stop, rewind and forward functionality, and subscribers can programme ahead what TV show to record. Rohana says the PVR has a hard disk storage of 160 hours.

On the differences between the latest PVR system and its predecessor, the discontinued Astro Max, she says: “This will be the first deployment of a new kind of PVR with many of the world’s largest broadcasters to follow Astro throughout 2010. In order to bring this next-generation PVR, Astro has fully licensed all the best-in-class technologies to deliver the world’s best PVR experience. This is a key difference to the Astro Max.”

Rohana says Astro is also working with all its channel providers and “fundamentally shifting its infrastructure to ensure that the PVR accurately records the programmes you want and provides detailed information around them.”

Another difference from the Astro Max system is the push functionality, which can be used as an up-selling tool for Astro.

“If I know you like CSI, I can download on a push basis the whole Season 200 of CSI and put it on your box. When you come home, I can say: ‘Hey, guess what? I have the whole Season 200 of CSI. Do you want to buy it?’ So, either you decide what you want to record, or we intuitively try to cater to what you want,” she says.

Astro is planning a major drive to change its relationship with customers from a transactional relationship to “a real relationship,” she says.

“We will understand what you like. If you like Oasis (an Astro channel with programming catering to Islamic values) and you plan to perform the haj, we’ll download a whole series on ibadah haji onto your box. And there’ll be a message that says we’ve downloaded this series of 12 episodes and asks you whether you want it.”

The HD set-top boxes, to be introduced by year-end, will only be for HD, but an external hard disc for PVR can be added. Next year it will introduce HD/PVR set-top boxes.

Regarding HD content, Rohana says it’s Astro’s aspiration to widen local content in HD. “To merit HD, it has to be a big-ticket item drawing high viewership. Malaysians will experience HD through football, for example, because 70% of our customers take up the sports package,” she points out. Sports is one of the strong pillars of HD; the others being Hollywood blockbusters and programmes like National Geographic.

Rohana says this year, total content cost is about 35% of its revenue. Every year, Astro spends about equally in international content, sports and local content.

While she wouldn’t say what percentage of local content cost would be allocated for HD, she says Astro increases its local content investment every year.

Rohana says all its programme producers will have to gear up for HD. “HD is end-to-end delivery, starting from the content. The camera that shoots that content has to be HD. The make-up they put has to be for HD because the clarity is much better.”

Astro is also using technology to attract more advertising ringgit. Rohana says Astro is already helping advertisers in packaging complete advertising and sponsorship propositions.

“Our people are well-trained to package the right proposition to advertisers. But if the advertisers want independence, we are working with technology in order to provide that,” she says.

“This new research rating system is far superior in every sense from its accuracy to tracking the viewing habits of the viewers. This means that we’ll be able to know which contents work better and which promotions, including TV commercials, work best.”

Asked when she expects this system to be ready, Rohana says: “As soon as possible.”

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/21/business/5144262&sec=business

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Everyoneconnects: Biggest karaoke session a blast

The event on the 21st Nov was featured in the news.

Biggest karaoke session a blast

KUALA LUMPUR: Over 5,000 party goers sang along to the catchy beat of Through My Window — a song that set the nation abuzz since its debut — in what has been billed as the biggest “karaoke session” in Jalan Bukit Bintang.

The song was performed by local band Bunkface to an energetic crowd who rocked along yesterday — complete with dummy microphones — despite the rain.

Come rain or shine: Over 5,000 revellers braved the rain Saturday to rock along with local bands and celebrities at Telekom Malaysia’s Through My Window campaign in Jalan Bukit Bintang.

The crowd sportingly took part in various activities showing off their dancing and singing moves in the event hosted by radio deejays JJ and Ean of the Hitz.FM Morning Crew.

Singers Shila, Reshmonu, Dafi, Mila and Tomok were among the local celebrities who made their appearance.

Customer service executive Siti Mariah Abu Bakar, 25, said the campaign was a brilliant way to get people to come together.

“It’s a good pop song. It actually brought people together when they discussed it online and in public,” she said.

Account executive Nooraziyan Abdul Rahman, 25, came all the way from Shah Alam with 15 friends to see artiste Tomok perform the Malay version of Through My Window.

“At first, I didn’t know anything about the campaign but the song got me hooked to find out more about it,” she said.

The campaign, organised by Telekom Malaysia Berhad, was aimed at getting Malaysians to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Telekom Malaysia group marketing vice-president Sherene Azura Azli told The Star that the whole idea for the Through My Window campaign was to engage the public in the digital lifestyle.

“The campaign combines both old and new media to enable the public to experience this lifestyle. Telekom Malaysia also regards its customers as ‘collaborators’ who are the real force behind the company.

“It’s all about the company positioning itself to connect people everywhere in the country, as evident through its services,” she said.

The song has attracted 3.9 million mentions on the Internet, over 6,600 video and audio up­­loads on its site www.everyoneconnects.net and 1,433 tweets on Twitter since it’s Oct 19 debut.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/22/nation/5162572&sec=nation

Teoh's second autopsy completed, reburied Tuesday

Teoh's autopsy completed. Hope they uncover the truth soon.

Teoh's second autopsy completed, reburied Tuesday

KUALA LUMPUR: The second autopsy on Teoh Beng Hock’s remains had been completed but the results will most likely be disclosed when the inquest into his death resumes on Dec 9.

Teoh’s sister Teoh Lee Lan said the family was given a short briefing after the autopsy at the Sungai Buloh Hospital by Thai forensic pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanansunand, but it was too technical for them to understand.

“We do not know the results, or when it will be revealed. Please be patient and wait for the inquest to resume on Dec 9,” she told reporters.

Lee Lan confirmed that her brother’s remains would be reburied on Tuesday at the Nirvana Memorial Garden in Semenyih.

Teoh’s body was exhumed on Saturday after the inquest into his death ordered a second post-mortem, after Dr Pornthip testified that his likely cause of death was homicide and not suicide.

Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam on Shah Alam on July 16 after being questioned by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

The commission’s Selangor office is on the 14th floor of the same building.

The autopsy started at noon after the pathologists spent the morning discussing and performing X-ray and CT scans on the body.

The autopsy, carried out by Sungai Buloh Hospital’s Pathology and Forensics Department chief Dr Shahidan Md Noor, was completed by 3.15pm.

Besides Dr Pornthip, who is engaged by the Selangor state government, others observing the autopsy were British forensic pathologist Prof Peter Vanezis, who is appointed by the MACC, and pathologists from the first autopsy Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim and Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar.

Dr K. Saravanan assisted by taking photographs of the post-mortem.

Lee Lan, together with her brother Beng Kee and parents Teoh Leng Hwee and Teng Shuw Hor, had arrived at the hospital at 8.30am.

Gobind Singh Deo, counsel for Teoh’s family, said no time limit was set for the autopsy.

“There is no pressure for them to finish by a certain time. What is important is that it is done thoroughly, and all aspects that can raise any doubts be addressed,” he said.

He also thanked the police for responding quickly to Dr Pornthip’s complaints that she had been followed on Friday and Saturday by providing escorts.

“To those following her, come forward and let us know who you are. Don’t be cowards,” he said.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/22/nation/20091122123043&sec=nation

Teoh’s body exhumed for second autopsy today

Teoh Beng Hock's body is due for a second autopsy to day to determine the truth once and for all.

Strangely enough, the person who wrote this article sound likes 'Teoh Beng Hock' at first glance.

Teoh’s body exhumed for second autopsy today

By TEH ENG HOCK

KAJANG: Teoh Beng Hock’s body was exhumed yesterday and will undergo the second autopsy today.

His body, said to be in good condition, was sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital where it was subjected to X-ray and CT scan.

The exhumation at the Nirvana Memorial Garden in Semenyih began at 10.40am after family members conducted prayers which started at 9am.

Teoh’s grave was cordoned off using a high white canvas, obscuring the view of some 40 pressmen and onlookers.

His body was identified by his siblings Teoh Lee Lan and Teoh Beng Kee.

The casket was then wrapped up in plastic sheets before it was placed in a hearse and sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital, where Teoh’s parents were waiting.

It is learnt that Soh Cher Wei, who went through a marriage ceremony with Teoh after his death, stayed home as she is six months’ pregnant with his child.

The exhumation was observed by Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojan­asunand and Sungai Buloh Hospital chief pathologist Dr Shahidan Md Noor.

Teoh’s body was exhumed on the orders of the coroner after his family requested for the second autopsy to be conducted.

The request came soon after Dr Pornthip testified at his death inquest that the likely cause of death was homicide and not suicide.

She had testified that there was an 80% probability that Beng Hock was tortured and strangled.

Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, here on July 16 after being questioned by the Selangor branch of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

The commission’s Selangor office is on the 14th floor of the same building.

Lee Lan earlier told newsmen that her heart felt heavy about the exhumation but her family hoped the second post-mortem would reveal her brother’s cause of death.

“We are prepared to find out the truth,” she said.

Gobind Singh Deo, counsel for Teoh’s family, said: “As far as I can tell, the body looked like it was in good condition. But I am a lawyer, not a doctor, so we’ll see what the experts say.”

He said that there were six pathologists present including Dr Pornthip.

“Dr Pornthip was here to observe the exhumation. We don’t want any complaints later,” said Gobind.

He said the post-mortem would be conducted at 9.30am today.

“I was told they hope to get it done by early afternoon,” he said.

Gobind added that he did not see anyone from the commission, saying they “should have sent a representative”.

Also present were Teoh’s boss Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/22/nation/5161513&sec=nation

Friday, November 20, 2009

At least one cell phone for every Malaysian

Malaysia has finally reached saturation point for handphone ownership. If only we could say the same for broadband ownership which is only 30%.

At least one cell phone for every Malaysian

BUTTERWORTH: Malaysia has joined Asian nations such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand in achieving 100 per cent cell phone ownership for its 27 million population.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission statistics, based on the 28.9 million registered users in the first quarter of this year, suggested that each Malaysian owned at least one cell phone.

MCMC Technology, Standards and Network Division deputy director Rizal Abdul Malek said with the figure, Malaysia had become among the first Asian countries to achieve 100 per cent cell phone penetration .

Rizal said the figure could be higher if cell phone ownership among children was included. Some children use the gadget only for entertainment such as an audio player and for games, without registering pre-paid or post-paid services.

Last year, 87.9 percent of Malaysians owned cell phones.

Rizal said among factors that contributed to the increase was the fact that cell phones had become a need rather than a luxury item nowadays.

"Stiff competition among telecommunications companies has pushed the cost of services down, in particular SMS text message charges," he said after delivering a paper titled "Communications Industry Development Impacts" at a seminar in Seberang Jaya here yesterday.

Rizal said broadband penetration in Malaysia stood at 30 per cent and the government had taken aggressive steps such as the High Speed Broadband project being carried out by Telekom Malaysia Bhd to achieve the target of 50 per cent penetration by next year.

http://www.nst.com.my/articles/9pho/Article/index_html

Modern Warfare 2 up for grabs

A contest by The Star newspaper. For Malaysians only.

Modern Warfare 2 up for grabs

Here is your chance to get into the thick of the action as a soldier in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

All you have to do is answer a simple question and complete the tie breaker to win a copy of Modern Warfare 2 (PS3 or Xbox 360) courtesy of Gamer’s Hideout by answering

Submit your entries by Nov 30 to techcentral@istar.com.my with the subject “Modern Warfare 2 contest.” Only one entry per contestant, thank you.

Multiple entries will be disqualified. Don’t forget to include your full name as per MyKad, MyKad number, address and contact number.

1. How many characters do you get to actively play in Modern Warfare 2? a. 5 b. 4 c. 3 d. 2

2. Tie breaker: Infinity Ward almost dropped the Call of Duty label from the Modern Warfare title. In 25 words or less tell us why it should or should not do that.

Rules & Regulations:

1. This contest is open to all residents of Malaysia.

2. Prize is not exchangeable for cash and the organiser reserves the right to exchange the prize with that of a similar value without prior notice.

3. Staff of Star Publications (M) Bhd or its affiliate companies and their immediate families are not eligible to participate.

4. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.

5. The winner will be notified via e-mail.

6. The prize will only be mailed if the winner is from outside the Klang Valley. TechCentral will not be liable for damage and/or loss during the transit.

7. For more information, please e-mail us at techcentral@istar.com.my

http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2009/11/13/prodit/20091113164851&sec=prodit

Kick Start Using Open Source

Animating software are the tools that help graphics design community make their creation come to life.

However, most of these software cost too much for a lone ranger to work on a standalone project.

But, never fear as freeware which costs next to nothing is available and read about the story of the Suleiman brothers creating their work with just freeware.

Animating with open-source


UNIQUE: A still from the Suleiman Brothers short film, Rojak!. The brothers used open-source software to combine live action with computer graphics for their film.

By STEVEN PATRICK

IF YOU watched the 15Malaysia (www.15Malaysia.com) independent film collection, you would have noticed a unique entry called Rojak! that combined live action with computer graphics.

What is even cooler is that the filmmakers used open-source software to achieve this effect on the near-five-minute film. The fact is that the filmmakers — brothers Jordan, 29, and Mussadique Suleiman, 32 — are open-source software diehards.

The duo have been using open-source software for animation and editing TV commercials, documentaries and music videos for the past eight years.

Better known as the Suleiman Brothers, they specialise in hand-drawn animation, 3D and 2D motion graphics, video compositing as well as image processing.

Going open

Mussadique has been using open-source tools for more than a decade. He started in 1996 when he was software-code writer because he found writing code on the Windows platform frustrating.

“I had heard of the open-source movement a few years before that and found that it had really matured in the mid 90s, so I switched,” Mussadique recalled.

Today, Mussadique has Linux on everything — his computers, mobile phone and PDA.

His younger brother Jordan, shares his passion for open-source as it makes financial sense to use it in their filmmaking and animation endeavours.

Jordan, however, is not a software-coding geek like his brother. He is a self-taught computer graphics and animation artist.

“A copy of Maya (a 3D animation software) costs RM15,000 while open-source software costs nothing. Linux is also light years ahead of proprietary systems in terms of flexibility of use. It is the most powerful operating system based on our experience and we have been using it throughout our careers,” he said.

Tools for free

So when it came to their latest project — a short film for 15Malaysia, there was no question that the duo would still use open-source platforms that they have grown accustomed to.

The tools they used to create the animations include Blender (a 3D software package), Adobe After Effects (compositing) and Syntheyes — both for mixing virtual images with real footage. Blender and Syntheyes are Linux-based apps.

15Malaysia is a project by wireless broadband provider P1 and features a collection of 15 short films made by local independent filmmakers, including the late Yasmin Ahmad. The films feature local celebrities, actors, musicians and politicians.

“We wanted our submission to 15Malaysia be as surreal as possible as it dealt with the thoughts of a rojak seller and the multi-cultural background of Malaysia,” he said.

The Suleiman Brothers could not quantify the total time taken to make Rojak! as their studio was involved in a range of other commercial projects at the time.

The post-production and computer graphics work on Rojak! was done by five people. Two people did the 3D work — one of which was Mussadique — while Jordan was one of the two compositors, who mixed live footage with virtual images. The post-production process also involved a digital artist.

In the beginning

The Suleiman Brothers have enjoyed a creative partnership long before Rojak!. It began in their pre-teen years, explained Jordan.

They liked both the computer and art worlds and had undergone Basic computer programming training at the ages of six and eight.They also had a penchant for drawing and played musical instruments.

“When we were about 11, we tried to combine aspects of computer technology with aspects of art and creative design by designing ‘beat-em-up’ videogames like Streetfighter.

“We dabbled in everything from programming game logic to creating 16 x 32-pixel, frame-by-frame animation on old Atari 520ST CPUs,” Mussadique said.

However, later on, the partnership was put on hold temporarily as Mussadique branched out to focus on computing. He enrolled in a degree in artificial intelligence while Jordan went on to study business and information technology.

However, the brothers never stopped focusing on animation during their college years.

“I trained myself in all aspects of animation from hand-drawn cell work all the way to 3D character animation,” he said.

The brothers also found inspiration from Princess Mononoke, a popular anime movie from 1997.

After college, the brothers decided that animation was what they wanted to do. So in 1999, they formed a production company called Studio Voxel with their sister. Yasmin.

The company, which is based in Ampang, has been responsible for a wide range of artistic, commercial and corporate work — the most notable being the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) award-winning music videos for artiste Pete Teo entitled Arms Of Marianne and Lost In America.

And yes, both videos mixed different types of animation with live footage. Just like Rojak!

http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2009/11/18/itfeature/20091118132843&sec=itfeature

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