Thursday, December 31, 2009
High charges,frequent disconnections and slower than advertised speeds are the main rants of of internet users.
Even our current PM, Dato' Seri Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak says than the current speed is too slow to catch up with developed nations.
With his support and directive, high speed broadband is now in progress with trials going on in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail and Bangsar and hopefully it will be available in 2010 with speeds of at least 10mbps.
This is a huge relief for us but cost and stability still remains a mystery for us users.
However, if you want to know whether TM has designated your area as the next spot for HSBB, see whether....
1) you see any road digging in your area with TM staff running around
2) Spot these two boxes being added to your area.
Both pictures are not mine as I found it here:
but I can safely say that Bandar Sri Damansara and some housing areas in Kepong Baru are going to be the next spots for TM HSBB.
Hopefully it is in the first quarter of 2010.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
On Sunday, I went to watch Bodyguards and Assassins with my sis and parents at GSC, Tropicana City Mall. Originally planned for the 9.20pm show, but changed to 11.55pm as the seats are way up front.
As we bought the tickets at 8.40pm, we realized we got way too much time before the movie. Even after having dinner at Esquire Kitchen, we had at least an hour left to go. Thankfully, the arcade was open and we spent our time there until the movie screening.
Finally, after 20 minutes of ads, the movie started with Jacky Cheung’s character talking about democracy and the future of China. He died within 5 minutes of the movie…..
If you read the synopsis for this movie before, then you would know that this movie is based on the real event that happened in 1906 in Hong Kong where Dr. Sun Yat Sen came to have a meeting with the 13 leaders to launch a rebellion against the Qing dynasty.
You would think that Sun Yat Sen is going to be the main character in this movie but it is wrong to think so. The main emphasis of this is the sacrifices made by those who want revolution and change the corrupt government so that there are equal rights for all the citizens of China.
The movie is spoken mainly in Cantonese and Mandarin and frankly speaking, this is one of those movies where they flesh out the main characters before the action starts. (Something rarely seen in Hong Kong movies).
The first hour of the show is used to build up the back story of the revolutionist, about their hardships on trying to make it happen with the Qing government, trying to kill off all of them who will help Sun Yat Sen.
As there are way too many characters to speak off, I will just make short descriptions instead.
Donnie Yen plays a HK police in the movie who is also a gambler. He helps the Qing government to spy Tony Leung Ka Fai who is one of the revolutionist which causes the death of Simon Yam who was a general and his former army men. Donnie Yen’ character makes up for it later by helping to fend off the assassins during the second half of the movie and you would not be disappointed for the action he provides.
Leon Lai plays the beggar who was once a rich guy who fell in love for his father’s wife. Not much to say about him until the second part where he kills off most of the assassins with his metal fan.
Nicholas Tse plays the character of Ah Se who works for his master, Mr Liu. His character is memorable as he is very helpful throughout the show and builds up the human aspect of the show.
There are more characters I don’t remember their names.
Anyways, the assassins in the movie are pretty skilled using crossbows, hooks and other concealable weapons to kill off the good guys.
The scenes where the characters die off makes you feel sad inside as I became attached to them during the first half. Especially, Ah Se who dies a day before his planned wedding.
Anyways, Bodyguards and Assassins is a much watch and I give it a 4 out of 5. There were some characters that they killed off too soon IMHO but still the action during the last hour makes up for it.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
As we all know the movie Avatar has started screening in Malaysia a few days ago and has been the hype recently.
Well, who wouldn’t when the trailer itself is stunning in respect?
So, yesterday which was Christmas, I went to watch Avatar at 9pm with my parents and sister at Big Cinemas in Brem Mall, Kepong and it was awesome. For those who don’t know, here is the synopsis:
(major spoiler ahead)
“In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture”. Written by Giorgio_C
“When his brother is killed in battle, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.” Written by The Massie Twins
Obtained from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/plotsummary
The world of Pandora set in the movie is a hostile, yet beautiful environment filled with greenery (the background was filmed in Hawaii) and basically immerses you into visual awe and wonder on how much detail they put into every scene. This is most apparent at the night scenes where the whole jungle just lights up.
The Na’vi are very tall when compared to humans in the movie (at least 7 to 10 feet?) and have carbon fiber in their bones which makes them very tough and strong hunters.
The storyline was fine for this kind of movie (as the CGs are breathtaking) and it was compared to how the first American settlers fought the Red Indians where guns were used against arrows and spears.
There are a lot of hostile creatures living in Pandora and the main character, Jake Sully learnt to respect the living creatures in the jungle through the eyes of the Na’vi people via his ‘Avatar’.
The part I really like about was when Jake got the Toruk Bacto after the Na’vi village was destroyed and asked the other Na’vi clans which serve as the ground and sky attack units.
The ending fight scene was epic nonetheless against the beautiful backdrop.
Since I can’t really elaborate more on words, you have to see it for yourself and make your own evaluation.
I would give this movie a 4.5 out of 5, the 0.5 gone is because they omitted a few parts which is forgivable given the amount of screentime.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
New currency declaration rule
KUALA LUMPUR: In line with the global effort to combat money-laundering and terrorism financing, Bank Negara Malaysia has issued a new currency declaration requirement at all entry and exit points in the country.
Effective Jan 1, travellers entering or leaving Malaysia with cash and/or negotiable bearer instruments (traveller’s cheques, bearer cheques) exceeding US$10,000 (RM34,000) must make a declaration in form Customs No. 22.
“The forms will be available at counters located before the Customs checkpoints at all entry and exit points of the country.
“Travellers could be fined up to RM1mil and/or face imprisonment not exceeding a term of one year if they fail to declare or make a false declaration,” it said in a statement here yesterday.
Bank Negara said this was required under section 23 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 and was in line with the Special Recommendation IX by the Financial Action Task Force which required countries to have measures in place to detect physical cross-border transportation of cash and negotiable bearer instruments.
“This new requirement is in line with global efforts to combat money-laundering and terrorist financing activities.
“Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines and Singapore have adopted the same declaration requirement,” it said. — Bernama
Friday, December 18, 2009
SEA Games: Malaysia beats Vietnam 1-0 in final (Update)
VIENTIANE: Malaysia finally ended its 20-year gold drought in the SEA Games men’s football competition, when it defeated Vietnam 1-0 in the final played at the Main Stadium of the National Sports Complex in Vientiane on Thursday.
The National Under-23 boys, who came here as non-medal prospects, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Games to win the gold.
Malaysia last won the football gold in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 1989, with a 1-0 victory over Singapore.
The ‘winner’ came courtesy of an own goal by Vietnam’s Mai Xuan Hop’s in the 84th minute of a toughly-fought final. The football gold medal was also Malaysia’s 40th gold medal in Vientiane.
The victory was all the more sweeter as the Malaysians had lost 1-3 to Vietnam in a group match on Dec 6.
Earlier, the young Malaysians had knocked out defending champions Thailand 2-1 in the group stage to win a place in the semi-finals.
Then in the last four, they downed Laos 3-1 in front of a sell-out 20,000 fans.
Monday, December 14, 2009
So set your sights on America if your course is included in the list.
(All images are taken from Google)
The Top 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in America
Looking for a career with a high level of demand? A recent survey found that some jobs feature more openings than trained workers. Training for one of these top jobs can help ensure your degree training will be highly valued when it comes time to look for work.
Career Training for Careers In Demand
The survey, conducted by employment agency Manpower, Inc., found a range of careers in high demand across the country. "From our research it is clear that across the country employers are experiencing a mismatch between the talent their businesses need and the skills and abilities potential employees possess," said Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America.
Matching your own talent up with potential employers may require a degree or career training program. Check out a few of the hardest jobs to fill in America, and learn more about the career training recommended for each.
Career #1: Engineers
Working as an engineer requires intelligence, organization, and a high level of specialized skills. Engineers typically work in one area of engineering; for example, mechanical or petroleum engineering. A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for most entry-level careers in the field.
For those with the right degree training and skill, engineering salaries offer big rewards. Civil engineers earned mean annual wages of $78,560 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the job is expected to see a high level of future growth.
Career #2: Technicians
Looking for an engineering career without a four-year bachelor's degree? Consider training to become an engineering technician. These trained workers use an associate's degree in the engineering specialty they choose to move swiftly into the workforce. Engineers and the public alike depend on technicians for their ability and knowledge.
According to the BLS, electrical and electronic engineering technicians earned mean annual wages of $53,990 in 2008. If you love the work but want a higher salary and more responsibility, you can transition your associate's degree into bachelor's degree training.
Career #3: Accountants
Make your skills with financials and business work for you with a career as an accountant. These number lovers are a big asset to individuals and businesses alike, who rely on them to do everything from interpreting tax laws to organizing a company's finances. Forensic accountants follow paper trails and help out with court cases.
The educational path to become an accountant varies. Accounting clerks may require only an associate's degree, while fully-licensed accountants may need a bachelor's degree in accounting plus CPA certification. Regardless, accountants earned mean annual wages of $65,840 in 2008, the BLS reports.
Career #4: Mechanics
Working on cars has always required a mix of technical knowledge and a passion for all things automotive. Today, automotive service technicians and mechanics benefit from an associate's degree level of training. With the high-tech diagnostic devices used in garages today, a little computer-based knowledge goes a long way.
The BLS notes that automotive service technicians and mechanics earned mean annual wages of $37,540 in 2008. An associate's degree is recommended for employment, and mechanics with certification may see the best opportunities.
Career #5: IT Staff
This broad category includes many of the country's fastest-growing occupations, including network systems and data communications analysts, computer software engineers, computer systems analysts, and database administrators. In any company with a network of computers and technology, a highly trained IT staff is appreciated.
Most IT staff jobs require a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, management information systems, or similar, though some entry level careers -- such as careers for Web masters -- may only require an associate's degree. Specific earnings for IT staff depend heavily on the career you choose. The BLS reports that database administrators saw mean annual earnings of $72,900 in 2008, for example.
Valuable Education for Popular Careers
While no degree program can guarantee a particular career or salary, the training you receive is often preferred or required by hiring managers in the careers above. After a few years of training, you could be filling the need for trained workers in the field of your choice.
Mary Fineday is a freelance writer from Austin, Texas.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Astro HD is launched today and known as Astro B.yond.
The good thing is that you need to top up RM20 on your existing subscription package with the HD channel.
More info can be found here:
Astro B.yond launchedKUALA LUMPUR: Astro today launched its Astro B.yond — a multi-phased innovative service starting with the first ever High Definition (HD) broadcast, setting yet another new benchmark in Malaysia’s broadcast industry.
“At 48 per cent penetration of Malaysian TV homes, we are part of 2.875 million homes. It is a privilege we do not take for granted. At Astro, we are committed to innovation in content, technology and customer experience.
We would also like to ensure our customers get the maximum value out of every ringgit they spend with us,” said Astro chief executive officer Datuk Rohana Rozhan.
Incorporating the best in class technologies, the newly launched Astro B.yond offers customers new services which will be introduced in phases starting on Dec 18.
Starting with the first-ever High-Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia, Astro B.yond has the potential to change TV viewing experiences with richer colours, picture-perfect clarity and cinematic surround sound. A new and improved Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) designed for better viewer interface will also be introduced.
In 2010, Astro aims to be the first in the world to offer video recording through an external hard drive. With this service, customers can record their favourite programmes and personalise their TV viewing schedules. Astro B.yond will also introduce Digital Video Recording (DVR), Video on Demand (VOD) and IPTV connectivity in phases over the next 24 months.
As Astro B.yond is a major shift in technology, it calls for total revamp in capabilities, hardware and installation. In addition to Astro's delivery infrastructure, customers who wish to experience Astro B.yond and access the HD services have a choice to sign up at an additional service fee of RM20 per month and a commitment of 12 months.
Customers will get the new B.yond box, new smart card, new outdoor unit dish, HD Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable and new remote control. New set-up installation fee will be waived in exchange for the existing box.
On content, Astro will show three key genres that are recognised as HD content drivers globally - sports, movies and documentaries. Astro will start with four HD channels — Astro Supersport HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and History HD on Dec 18, followed by ESPN HD in January 2010.
Sports fans may also get to watch the coming World Cup 2010 in HD. Astro plans to roll out more HD channels, including local content, in 2010. The access to enjoy the HD channels corresponds to the customer’s current package subscription.http://www.mmail.com.my/content/21650-astro-byond-launched
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Malaysian company buys Friendster
KUALA LUMPUR: Friendster, one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, is now owned by a Malaysian company.
The new owner, MOL Global Pte Ltd, is a newly-formed entity spawned from the recent MOL AccessPortal Bhd acquisition of California-based Friendster Inc.
The merger of the two companies is aimed at creating Asia’s largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network.
This will be achieved through the pairing of MOL’s offline retail channel partners and payment platform with Friendster’s large online footprint, social network and user community in Asia.
Friendster has 115 million members worldwide, with more than 75 million registered users in Asia alone. Today, 80% of its Asian members are youths aged between 16 and 24.
“We are creating a unique company that will be well positioned to provide content to a huge, regional user base, especially here in Asia,” said newly appointed MOL Global Group CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah. Friendster’s former CEO, Richard Kimber, is now the non-executive chairman.
Bangah said a wide array of merchandise via MOL, such as games, goods, gifts, music and videos, will now be made available to the Friendster community.
MOL — an MSC Malaysia-status company whose business is payment solutions — has more than 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels across 75 countries for its content and services. Its core markets are Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India.
The company also has relationships with more than 70 online games publishers, which in total provide more than 200 titles. It also has partnerships covering music, movie and video content.
Earlier this month, Friendster announced several initiatives that will see it focusing more on the Asian youth market, including a rebranding exercise and redesigned webpages with emphasise on Asian relevance.
According to Bangah, MOL Global will continue with these directions set by the previous Friendster management before the merger.
“At the same time, we will look at combining both our valued assets to create Asia’s biggest content distribution and e-commerce platform,” he said.
Kimber said the deal provides Friendster with the kind of financial backing and resources — such as retail distribution centres and e-commerce infrastructure — to further the social networking site’s development.
“This merger enables us to accelerate our strategy and create more locally relevant, fun experiences for our users both on and offfline,” he said.
The offices of both MOL and Friendster around the world, including the Friendster headquarters in Mountain View, California, will be retained, said Bangah.
“In countries where both companies operate, such as Singapore and the Philippines, we will combine the staff and resources,” he added.
Friendster’s rivals include the popular Facebook and MySpace social networking sites, as well as local sites JomSocial and Ruumz.
The principal shareholder of MOL is Tan Sri Vincent Tan who is chairman and CEO of Berjaya Corporation Bhd.http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2009/12/10/technology/20091210164923&sec=technology
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Top 10 cruel things men do to womenThis is for all those feminist.
Love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore him – yes, we are talking about the man of your life. He’s probably the most loving creature in ways more than one.
Here, we bring the top 10 cruel things that men do to women ...
1. Having the biggest ego: Ever wondered why men hate taking directions and prefer hunting out the place on their own, even if it means 2 hours delay and waste of gas. Well, the answer is the big ego they walk around with. This was the pettiest exemplar of a man’s ego, which gets hurt at the drop of the hat and needs a massage whenever possible.
2. Living with a ‘selective memory’: They’ll not only remember the name of every cricketer and football player on the planet but will also know their scores by heart. But, the moment the deal is about remembering birthdays and anniversaries of people close to them, their brain suffers an ailment called ‘selective memory syndrome’.
3. Ogling (read at breasts): ‘Men do stare at women’s breasts’ has been stamped as official by a world wide survey. But how we wish they knew that their drooling at the sight of a well endowed woman is cruel not only to the victim of that gaze, but also to the woman sitting beside them. Yes, they don’t miss any chance, even if it is when they are on a date!
4. Being overtly possessive: Where in the world did men get that insecurity from? (Their mother
? )They blame women for being jealous but a mere mention of another man from their girl can turn them into an ever clinging magnet.
5. Taking pride in their hypocrisy: Men can’t get more cruel than this! They love hanging around with the coolest and sexiest babe in the town, but when it comes to meeting mom, it’s a ‘homely’ girl they start hunting for. You loved her dressing style and carefree attitude when she came for night-outs with you, what’s with that marriage material hunt now?
6. Showing extra care: How does it feel to take his ‘where-about’ calls every 15 minutes after you step out of the home? The care in that gesture goes out of the window and irritation takes charge. Don’t they realise that we lived safe, sound and perfectly well in this world before they came into our lives. Hope someone is listening.
7. Throwing their ‘superman’ self everywhere: Yes, it feels nice when men are around for some help. However, their ‘I-can-do-everything-under-the-sun’ attitude does more harm than good, especially when they think themselves to be exalted beings – a plumber, electrician, carpenter and a financial adviser all rolled into one.
8. Consider emotions to be crap: Women might be emotional but having a constant practical point of view, like men doesn’t, score well always. Men will become better beings for sure, if they stop making fun of sentiments and ignoring them as useless.
9. Being the friend worshippers: It is very torturing for women when men don’t learn to priorities their life post marriage. They blame her for being a clinging vine when she asks for his time, but how sane is it to have a bunch of friends in the backseat on a long-drive, which was planned to be a romantic one?
10. Being the sex monster: Undoubtedly, women love zest in bed, but it’s very cruel of men to demand their partners to play the porn star they saw in that flick last night. It’s better to let her be herself in a sexapade rather than putting her in an uncomfy situation and then blaming her for being non-cooperative.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Top 10 cruel things women do to men
Despite being known as the fairer sex, women can be downright nasty and often do cruel things to men.
Fox News has compiled a list of top 10 cruel things that women do to men and how they play with the guy's emotions or ego.
10. They don't pick up the phone
While men feel good as they manage to take the girls’ phone number, the girls often give them a fake number or don't pick up the call.
9. Use men for free drinks
Some women go out never planning to spend any of their own money on drinks at the bar or club. Instead, they count on their feminine wiles to convince guys to shell out for their libations.
While some of them might begin to get to know him, the cruel and heartless ones will take that drink, flirt a little and move on.
8. Use men as placeholders
If she is a decent person, she'll just get it over with and dump the boy, but if she's cruel, she'll hold on to him for a while until somebody new comes along.
These girls don't like to be alone and without a relationship, so instead of putting you out of your misery and ending it, she'll string you along until she meets someone to replace you.
7. Emotionally manipulate men
Men don't like to see women cry and some cruel women take advantage of the fact and use it to get what they want. A few tears would make men do anything to get it to stop.
6. Use physical violence
While men hitting girls are often termed nasty, some cruel women feel it's perfectly acceptable to hit their boyfriends, as he would never hit her back. This type of woman feels like she can inflict any kind physical pain on him without fear of repercussion.
5. Criticize their men in public
Cruel women criticize and humiliate their men in public places. They often poke fun at her man or even soundly debase him.
4. They don't disclose their relationship status
It’s certainly not the worst thing a woman could do to a man, but it is annoying when she'll already in a relationship and lets you assume that she's available so that she can enjoy the man's flirtation and flattery.
3. They withhold sex
This is a time-tested, and frequently used, cruel thing for women to do to men. For most men, sex is as important as breathing, so withholding it in order to get something she wants or simply to punish her man for his transgressions is a pretty awful thing to do, even if it is effective.
2. They test their men
You're all ready to go for a night out with your friends, when your girlfriend calls and asks you to change your plans to be with her instead.
She doesn't have any particular reason; she just wants to see you.
She knows that you had plans to meet up with the guys, but if you really loved her, you'd come over to her place instead.
If her request comes with an "if you really loved me," then it's a test. If you choose anything other than immediately rushing to her side, you're going to fail. This kind of testing in a relationship is indeed cruel and petty.
Maybe she's feeling underappreciated, maybe you've just had a big fight or maybe she just enjoys the tortured look on your face.
For whatever reason, girls who flirt obviously with other guys in front of their boyfriends are immature and manipulative.
- ANI/timesof india.com
Jom! makan 'bak kut teh'KUALA LUMPUR: The "halal" version of "bak kut teh", a popular Chinese dish, can be savoured at the "Fabulous Food 1Malaysia" event at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from Dec 18 to 20.
The dish will be prepared by the executive chef of the JW Marriot Hotel, Zaffar Abdul Samad, for 300 people daily, said Eileen Chew, director of projects and public relations of Expomal International, which is organising the event with Tourism Malaysia.
"Like nasi lemak, the traditional food of the Malay community, which can be savoured by all Malaysians, we also want this popular Chinese dish to be experienced by the other communities," she told reporters.
The halal bak kut teh dish will have chicken, seafood and vegetables as the ingredients, and will be cooked with 10 types of herbs, including angelica, cloves and orange peel.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The statue is located at the Kek Lok Si temple which is as far as I know is at least 100 years old.
The statue was not built then though, I think less than 10 years cause this one is bronze while there was another clay statue before that at the same spot but it started cracking and they replaced it with a bronze one.
The pavilion's construction was suggested slightly more than 10 years ago, where my parent would pray and give donations to the temple. (My mom's from Penang by the way)
After so many years, it is finally completed and it is now the tallest pavilion in the world.
Grand opening for 20-storey pavilion at temple
GEORGE TOWN: Buddhist devotees from 20 countries arrived here for the grand opening today of the 20-storey pavilion over the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) statue at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam.
The temple authorities are planning to list the RM40mil structure as the tallest pavilion in the world.
Temple trustee Datuk Steven Ooi said several thousand devotees, monks and chief monks from as far as the United States, New Zealand and Australia were already in town.
“I believe the grand opening of the pavilion, which coincides with the 118th anniversary of the temple, will be the biggest Buddhist event in the country since independence,” he said.
Ooi said there would also be a 20th memorial ceremony for the fourth chief abbot, the Venerable Bai Sheng, who is also the founder of the Kuan Yin statue.
The three-tiered 60.9m roof pavilion, which is supported by 16 granite pillars, serves as a canopy to shelter the 30.2m-tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin.http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/12/6/nation/5250603&sec=nation
Friday, December 4, 2009
Police to be trained in cybersecurity
KUALA LUMPUR: The International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (Impact) is planning conduct cybersecurity courses for the Royal Malaysian Police.
The course, which aims to help the police force better deal with identity theft and other cybersecurity cases, is expected to be unveiled in the first quarter of next year.
Although the course subjects are still being planned, Impact said that data forensics will be one of the first subjects to be offered.
Impact also plans to offer the course as a service to police forces in its 42 member countries.
According to Impact chairman, Datuk Mohd Noor Amin, people are getting more concerned about online security, especially when it involves their identity, compared to 10 years ago.
However, identity theft and cybersecurity aren’t easy problems to solve even if one has international organisations such as the Interpol on their side.
Amin added that because laws to protect against identity theft are poorly enforced or don’t exist, the successful prosecution of identity thieves are not high as they should be.
This is because laws vary between countries and it is difficult to charge a cybercriminal because although victims of the crime are in one country, the servers used may be somewhere else.
“Which law should be used then?” Amin asked at a recent roundtable discussion about cybersecurity.
Ideally, laws on identity theft should be enforced considering how easy a criminal can obtain someone’s identity, he said.
According to a study done by information security company Symantec, 57% of the time people lose their identities because they have lost their laptops or thumbdrives.
“Only 17% is caused by hackers stealing them but either way, there aren’t proper laws to keep one’s identity secure,” said Mark Bregman, Symantec chief technology officer.
Bregman added that privacy and identity theft is a growing concern in the United States with about 200 million identity records exposed there last year.
As it is now a serious issue, Amin said that governments around the world should naturally respond to this concern.
“There needs to be a political will to drive this and I’m glad that there are already governments that are moving towards this direction,” he said.
Amin also hoped that more countries will eventually have some sort of privacy law that will prevent their personal data from being exploited by unscrupulous parties.
Study: No link between cell phones and brain cancer
LOS ANGELES: A latest study by Nordic researchers, found that there is no apparent link between cell phones and brain cancer, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen based their conclusion on a 30-year examination of the incidents of brain tumors in Scandinavia.
For the study, the researchers collected data on 60,000 people diagnosed with glioma and meningioma (types of brain tumours) in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden between 1974 and 2003, Xinhua said.
The researchers found that the incidence of brain tumors over this 30-year period were stable, starting before cell phones became popular.
In addition, there was no change in the incidence of brain tumors between 1998 and 2003, a period of rapid increase in cell phone usage, the researchers noted.
"If mobile phones were to cause brain tumors, we would expect to see a sudden rise in the number of brain tumors at some point in time, and we don't see it," said lead researcher Isabelle Deltour.
However, Deltour leaves the door open to the possibility that widespread cell phone use has not been around long enough to see an increase in brain tumors.
"Either it means that mobile phones don't cause brain tumors or it means that we don't see it yet or we don't see it because the increase is too small to be observed in this population, or it is a risk that is limited to a small subgroup of the population," she said.
Despite new findings, doubts linger about whether cell phones cause brain cancer.
Commenting on that study, Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., said: "We cannot make any definitive conclusions about this.
“But this study, in addition to all the previous studies, continues to leave lingering doubt as to the potential for increased risk. So, one more time, after all these years, we don't have a clearcut answer." Deltour said her team would continue to look at the rates of brain tumors in the study group. - Bernama
IJN can now replace heart valves without open heart surgery
KUALA LUMPUR: The National Heart Institute (IJN) achieved another milestone by performing the first heart valve implant in Asia without the need for open surgery.
Known as transcathether aortic valve implantation (Tavi), the procedure allowed problematic valves in the aorta to be replaced with an articifial one by using a tube that is 6mm in diametre known as a cathether.
The tube is inserted either at the thigh area or below the left collar bone and then slid through arteries to the heart.
And the procedures has a 99% success rate.
“Patients, who have gone through Tavi, will be able to move around on the third day after the implant but they would be required to lie down during the first 24 hours,” said IJN medical director Datuk Seri Dr Robaayah Zambahari.
She was speaking to a press conference to announce the achievement at IJN here Friday.
The procedure, which uses a device called CoreValve, causes less trauma to body tissues and enables a faster recovery compared to the conventional open heart surgery as only incisions are made at certain areas to insert the tube.
Dr Robaayah was part of the team of IJN consultants that performed the procedure on the first patient, a 73-year-old man who suffered from severe narrowing of heart valves and a second patient, a 77-year-old man on November 25.
The third patient was National Laureate Datuk Shahnon Ahmad, 76 who was treated the next day.
The team included cardiologists Datuk Dr Rosli Mohd Ali, Dr Shaiful Azmi and cardiothoracic surgeons Datuk Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub, Dr Jeswant Dillon as well as anaesthesiologists Datuk Dr Mohamed Hassan Ariff and Dr Sharifah Suraya.
The procedure was assisted by Dr Ganesh Manoharan, a consultant interventional cardiologist from Ireland, who will also overlook the operations of the next 12 to 15 patients.
“The 12 to 15 patients are currently on the waiting list to be certified by IJN and the costs of their operation will be borne by IJN.
“After that, patients need to know that the CoreValve device will be RM112,000 while another RM10,000 will be needed for other operation costs,” she said, adding that she hoped the Health Ministry would offer support and subsidise the procedures for the public in future.
Dr Robaayah said there has yet to be any case of a patient’s body rejecting the artificial valve made out of a type of metal called Nitinol.
“The procedure takes an average time of 45 minutes to one and a half hours. We took about two and a half hours for the first patient because we were still learning about the procedure and wanted to be careful,” she said, adding that the method was only performed on high-risk patients such as the elderly, so far.
Dr Ganesh said local anaesthesia was used on the patients so that they remained awake during the procedure but did not feel any pain.
“It is not surprising to see patients smiling as we conduct the procedure on them,” he said.
“About 50 centres worldwide are applying this technology but it is more suitable for this region since Asian blood vessels are generally smaller,” Dr Ganesh added.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hopefully to those who upgrade, there will be no rain distortion as there is a new satellite being launched.
Astro to go HD
If you have bought a HDTV and been complaining about the lack of high definition content from Astro, hold on to your horses because the company is set to introduce its HD service by the end of the year.
The company has been quietly upgrading its infrastructure, from cameras to launching the Measat 3A satellite, and is ready to roll out HD programming on its satellite network, said Paul Dale, Astro’s chief technology officer.
The HD channels that are going to be launched will be in 720p (1,280 x 720-pixels) which is the current HD broadcast standard. However, not all channels will be available in HD.
The first phase of the rollout will include popular channels, namely sports, documentaries and movie channels with more to come in the near future.
Details on the particular channels that will go HD will only be available at the launch date but it’s a given that the National Geographic and ESPN channels will be available in HD.
Local programming in HD is currently in the second phase of the plan and Astro is currently in the process of upgrading video cameras and other equipment.
To receive HD broadcast, consumers will be required to upgrade their TVs to HDTVs as well as change the current set-top box and satellite dish.
On top of the HD broadcasts, Astro is also working on a number of new services including a revamped channel guide and other new features.
The new set-top box will have a HDMI connection, composite outputs, Ethernet port, an USB port and even a digital audio output for 5.1-channel surround sound audio.
The Ethernet port on the set-top box even allows for the delivery of the video channels via the wired broadband connection although this, again, is in a future phase.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the new set-top box is that it comes with a high speed USB port so that you can connect any external hard disk to turn receiver into a digital recorder.
You can’t distribute the video on the hard disk though as each programme recorded is protected by DRM, so that it can only be viewed using the set-top box.
However, the video recording feature will not be available in the first stage of the rollout and will be enabled in a future firmware update.
The official consumer launch will be before the year-end.http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2009/12/2/technology/20091202170727&sec=technology
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Liow under fire over Net clip
PETALING JAYA: The MCA crisis is not only making headlines in Malaysia, it has also become a hot news item in Taiwan.
Party vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and those aligned to him have been accused of being copycats in producing an Internet video clip similar to a campaign video of Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou.
The three-minute video clip, titled MCA MIRT 1128, is available on YouTube.
The content urged MCA central delegates to attend the Nov 28 extraordinary general meeting, which was later cancelled and replaced with a special briefing session.
Taiwanese news portal http://news.msn.com.tw also carried a story criticising the clip, saying Liow and his group had learned the worst from their Taiwanese counterpart, the Kuomintang (KMT).
Taiwanese television station TVBS also pointed out that Liow’s video had copied almost all the content from Ma’s video, and only replaced the word “Taiwan” with “MCA” and “kind” with “integrity”.
As at press time yesterday, the video has been viewed 14,898 times with 277 comments; with some users calling the MCA the Malaysia Copy Association.
Meanwhile, MCA central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker challenged Liow to prove that 1,193 central delegates attended the Nov 28 briefing.
Ti said he would wait for Liow at the MCA headquarters at 11am on Friday to see the evidence.
In a press statement, he said Liow had failed to allow professional verification and an audit on the attendance as pledged earlier.
“Liow’s number of 1,193 central delegates does not tally with the figure confirmed by the Special Affairs Department under the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry that placed 547 central delegates attending the EGM,” he said.
He also asked Liow to be transparent and give an accounting of the amount he had received and spent.
Ti said Liow, the leader of the MCA Integrity Restoration Task Force (MIRT), must be reminded that he was slowly destroying himself and the party by walking away from his talk.
Astro’s apathy putting customers’ lives in danger
MY Astro service was giving me problems as there were no images. I called Astro Customer Services and they assured me that their technician would return my call.
They gave me the report number, saying that it was essential for the technician to quote the number before making an appointment with me and entering my premises.
The Astro technician called me and read back the report number and informed me when he would come by to check on the problems. I was comforted by that.
At the first scheduled appointment he did not show up. This caused me problems as I had taken a day’s leave for the technician.
I called the same technician and made another appointment for the next day. Again I took a day’s leave and fortunately, he showed up.
He quoted the report number. Astro Customer Services had assured me that the one who got the number correct would be the authorised technician.
He took several hours as in midway he had to go to get the remote as he claimed he had not brought it with him. Another full day went to waste.
He did some repairs and charged me a certain amount. But, then that night, my television programmes had technical problems again.
I called Astro and they said they did not know who the technician was that came to my place and assigned me a new technician. I had to apply for leave a third time.
The new technician said the previous technician was an intruder. My life and that of my children’s were actually at stake. Astro took the matter lightly.
The new technician even said he was aware of such an intruder but could not pinpoint the leak in Astro. He even mentioned the bogus technician’s name.
I was even further shocked when the technician told me that Astro was aware of the bogus technician who had done several dodgy jobs for Astro customers.
When I checked with Customer Services, they reluctantly admitted that they were aware of the bogus technician for some months now.
I am shocked that Astro did not take the necessary safety measures to safeguard its customers.
To make matters worse, Astro Customer Services personnel said they have to get approval from higher ups to reimburse the money I paid the bogus technician.
I had to take three days leave and had to live with the fact that my family and I could have been robbed, raped or even murdered as a result of Astro’s negligence.
It is pointless for Astro to keep raising their fees when they provide such bad service and put their customers’ lives at risk of danger. To add insult to injury, it does not seem to care.
WORRIED ASTRO CUSTOMER,