Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and its almost all quiet. I can still hear traffic on the NKVE from my apartment buzzing by. Maybe some people going home after some late night Christmas Eve party.


I just got back from a Christmas Party too. There was turkey and some normal fare like Hokkien Mee. I ate more of the Hokkien Mee and fried rice instead of the Turkey and leg of lamb. I never really liked turkey. I think the first time I had turkey for Christmas was when Paul and Sue West invited me over to their house with a few other international students for a Christmas dinner. It was so kind of them to do that. We all sat around their dinning table and we had a wonderful dinner with turkey. I have to say I never got used to the smell of the meat.


Thinking back, I never really liked Christmas, I always found it too pretentious and commercialized. I'm not a Christian so I don't see it as a religious holiday for me. I had a really bad Christmas experience once and from then on I hated Christmas for a long time every time I think back about it. It was my first time in the US as a student (I arrived in winter). It was Christmas break and it was really cold and the campus was empty. I didn't have any food so I took a long cold walk to the supermarket nearby to buy some TV dinner. When I got to the store after trudging along in the bone cold winter, I found a sign on the door that said they were closed for Christmas.


I stood there staring at the sign and it hit me how lonely I was at that point. No food; it was cold; and I had no one around. I guess that kind of screwed up my perception of Christmas.

The next few winters after that, I avoided Christmas. The only good memory I had was that one Christmas dinner I had with Paul and Sue. I remember their kindness in sharing.

So today, I don't hate Christmas that much anymore. I still think its over commercialized, too many retailers putting too much pressure on the shoppers to buy things. Sometimes we end up with things we don't need.

Merry Christmas everyone

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My adverture with technology

So what have I been up too lately? Well, I've been spending time with technology.

Lately, I got me a new notebook. I never owned one before but I sure have meddled with quite a few. When I started out in the IT world, I started of with a desktop. I liked the Desktop because notebooks were small and dinky. However as time when on, I saw the benefits of owning one (like being able to facebook in private on a larger screen than my Iphone in the office).

I've been installing and uninstalling software on it. Just when I thought I got everything right, I formatted the whole damn thing because of a glitch. Good thing it was so easy to start up again now that I've backed up all the stuff onto my external Hard Drive.

Actually right now I'm on the notebook writing this on my sofa at home. I could have done this from my Iphone but using a keyboard sure is faster.

So what notebook did I get? I got the Benq S41. Okay, most people are quite surprised when I mentioned that I got a Benq. Those who know me know that I love technology, most would have assumed I would have gotten a HP or a Dell. Actually that was my first choice but after some indept research, I found that the Benq S41 was a better deal. First of all, my priorities are for gaming and video editing. So the most important thing is a good video card and decent processor. The rest can all be upgraded.

The S41 came with a Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0MHz processor. That's pretty decent mid-range processor. The best part of course is the NVIDIA GeForce Go 8600M video card. Normally, for a mid-range video card the most powerful I could find was a 8400M. Not much of a difference but when it comes to rendering video, it does save me a lot of time. I upgraded the hard disk to 300G and boosted the RAM to 4G. So my mid-range notebook can probably out run most beginner top range machines out there.

I got a Windows Vista score of 4.8. Doesn't say much but it is an indication of its processing power. Heck, this machine got a higher score than my desktop. My desktop is handicapped at a 3G RAM, too lazy upgrade the ram to 4G right now.

The other IT stuff I've been playing with was my Iphone. I took a big risk to upgrade the firmware to V2.2.0. It's quite nerve wracking upgrading the firmware by yourself and jailbreaking it.

It was all going fine and I was using the phone for a month until I dropped it a few days ago. I was going to put it on the sofa but it slipped and fell onto the floor. When I picked it up, a small corner of the LCD had streaking colors. It was a sign there was a leak in the LCD panel, over time two thin lines grew all the way across the screen. It was a like a cancer growing and growing. That just so pissed me of. The damn thing is still under warranty actually but I got to get it back to London so its just not worth the hassle.

I did the next best thing. I asked my wife if I could use the same identical Iphone I got for her. Hers was just sitting in the drawer as she never used it. So upgraded the firmware and jailbreaked it and the best part is... I could back it up and now the phone is almost identical to my old phone. Damn I love this backup feature on Iphone.

The new firmware is missing a few key features compared to the old firmware. In V1.1.4, there were softwares I could download like WeTool which let me send contacts and forward SMS. I don't have that in the new firmware. Kind of sucks.

Actually, right now I'm just glad I have spare Iphone lying around for me to use. Otherwise, I'm stuck with a phone that has a hole growing larger and larger over time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

two year project

hola amigos. Sorry its been awhile but as usual, life got in the way. Lately, I've been bug down by a lot of things. I've been preoccupied with setting up my apartment like a proper home and also with work.

So what's been keeping me busy at work? It's the same documentary we've been working on since last year. Its taking forever to complete but we're almost there. I won't say yet what it's about but I'll give you all a hint with the picture below:

I've been spending quite a lot of time in rooms like these doing interviews and doing shoots. Actually, that's only like 30% of the work. Most of it is in the editing suite doing editing which is so tedious. I feel like procrastinating everytime I sit in the suite staring at the monitors.

I'm waiting to go to the airport to pick up my wife. The past few days I've been back to being single again. At first I thought it would be fun going back to being a bachelor but after the first day, I'm looking forward to having my wife back.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today is a gift

I was watching Kungfu Panda when the turtle master said something profound. "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called present". I looked it up on the internet and the best I could find was this:

TODAY IS A GIFT
by Laszlo Kotro-Kosztandi

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you twice, it is your fault
Great minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me ... You brought another friend ... and we started our
group ... our circle of friends ... and like a circle ... there is no
beginning or end ... Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.




Ah, wise master turtle. Reminds me of David Carradine's blind master Po in the TV series Kung-Fu

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Apartment

Hello my old friend. I felt guilty not writing for so long so I decided to write again today.

One of the other things that has been keeping me busy is my apartment committee I volunteered to join. They have meetings once a month but the meetings are in the evenings and usually end almost at midnight. In fact, I just came back from one earlier. Bloody long meetings. So many things to discuss sometimes I wonder why on earth did I volunteer for this and then I remembered... its my moral compass. It always points north and says volunteerism is good. Damn, I wish it pointed to Kiasu south more often sometimes. No time for myself!

I'm a little psyched up about moving into my new place. I've been shopping around for things to fill up my little nest with the wife. Want to put many things in but have to be trifty with the money.

I have over 300 photos to go through for the wedding that I have to compile into a photo album. This isn't including the video footage I have to edit also. Daunting task editing your own wedding photos and videos!

I already have things to do at work, come home also have to think about editing my own personal photos. Thats the point where I start to procrastinate and think maybe I should start blogging again instead. I blame you my old friend. You the reason I can't edit any of my photos and videos. Yes, you're the excuse I'm going to use the next time my relatives ask where are the photos. I'll say I was busy.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Life happened

Hello my old friend. Its been awhile since I written anything. No excuse there. Life gets in the way. I got married you see... its one of those things that happen in life you know.

Anyway, besides the wedding, the apartment blah blah blah... I've been thinking somethings been missing. That something was inspiration. All I do now is play World In Conflict and read other people's blog. I needed something a little more different. I was thinking about it one night over Hari Raya when they showed the Emmy Awards on TV. One of the show that got the most nomination was Mad Men. It's a show set in the early 60's about one of the senior advertising executive at a fictional advertising firm in Manhattan.



When I heard the concept while watching the Emmy's it immediately pique my interest. I when out to buy the DVD for season 1. I've seen 4 episodes so far and I absolutely love it. They have one heck of a damn good script and concept. It's like a window to the 1960's. Everyone smokes like crazy. I love seeing what the social mores were like then. I remember one scene where two housewives were gossiping over the kitchen counter and it was a tight shot of both of them smoking and talking. In the next shot, a kid runs in with a dry cleaning clear bag over her. Both ladies turn to look at her with disapproval. The mother was more worried about her dry cleaning then the safety of the child. The most shocking thing was that one of the housewife was pregnant and she was smoking away. Today, I think it would have been very different. I would be worried if a kid had a plastic bag over her head and no pregnant mother would smoke if they could help it.

Its the unsaid things in the show that I love. The story just flows, there are no climax or resolution to the stories presented. There's underlying frustration for what seems to be golden age of America. I love seeing how their frustration with daily life is what this generation is going through too. There's infidelity, fears of being a social outcasts, etc.

Watching this show makes me thing... ah, I don't feel so bad now. I know, its wierd but thats how I feel. Sort of the inspiration I needed after all the stress over the past few weeks.

Life goes on!

Monday, September 22, 2008

all quiet after the storm

Its all quiet in the middle of the night, just the way I like it. I look around my room and its in a bigger mess than usual. Somehow or another, its growing out of control. Strangely, I feel very at home here in my mess, I miss it.

After all the hectic travelling to Kota Bharu, Bangkok and Ipoh... finally getting to sit in front of my PC in my own room is peaceful.

Its back to work in a few hours but strangely I welcome it, I think it would be a break from this long holiday I was on. Looking forward to normality.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shah Alam wedding finished

just finished the shah alam wedding. Food was surprisingly good though I didn't eat much. Spend most of the time entertaining guest.

My feet is killing me. I need a foot massage, suddenly paying almost RM1500 for a foot massager doesn't sound too bad.

Next stop Bangkok and Ipoh then life can return to the same old routine. I luuurve routines and predictabilities. No stress.

Don't I'll ever find the time to edit all the photos everyone has taken. I didn't a single on my camera tonight. Only managed to take one on my phone with my wife.

Time for bed

Monday, September 01, 2008

Kota Bharu wedding finished

Finally finished the wedding in Kota Bharu. Some highlights:

-I didn't get drunk
-danced a little
-made a speech, hope it didn't sound silly. Got applauded.
-spoke hokkien
-got stuck in a massive Merdeka midnight countdown traffic jam in town
-Gained 4KG's
-Re-edited my whole wedding slide again, wedding album software I used was buggy. Premiere Pro still the best!
-My nephew trew up into a wine glass at the wedding, gross

Probably post some pictures later when I get back to PJ. Right now I'm using a borrowed laptop. I hope the photographer gets it right. I'm sitting in my room the morning after the wedding. Lots of stress and driving.

Two more wedding dinners to go!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Feeling older

Apparently, August is the wedding season. A lot of my Malay colleagues are getting married. I think they're all trying to get hitched before the fasting month starts in September. I was talking with the makeup artist who did our makeup for the photo shoot, she said quite a lot of people asked if she could do their makeup.

Getting married makes me feel slightly older, am I supposed to be more mature? I don't feel anymore different. Maybe it was so gradual I don't feel it. I wonder if I'm still the same person... compared to say, 10 years ago. I guess the only way to find out is to find someone who hasn't seen me for 10 years.

Now, two of the host I worked with, Naz and Daphne are already married. Daphne with a baby girl and Naz just got married last month. Now all 3 of us are married (me, I just registered my marriage, legally I'm married!). I haven't gone through the banquet and traditional ceremonies yet.





Looking back, Ringgit Sense was the first program I ever produced. The company had a VSS and all the team members including the producer took up the offer and left. The program was half way through mid-season. I had to finish of the program single-handedly. The next big challenge was to revamp it and find two new host.

Daphne was already a reporter and manager say use her as the female host. We were still short of a male host, my CEO suggested using Naz who was still hosting the Disney kids show. I was sceptical at first. I had an untested female host, a kids show host who had to do a semi financial program. It was a huge hurdle to over come. It was either sink or swim.

Till this day, my production style has largely been influenced a lot by what I learned from that first season. I had to shoot a lot of things on my own. I learned how to do 3 person's job by myself. It was crazy but I found that I'm a control freak. It was just so much easier than telling someone to do it when you can do it yourself.

Now, both Naz and Daphne are successful hosts. My production assistant is now producing his own documentary. One of my reporters is now a corporate communications manager. In this line of work, not many people stay on in it. Those who stay on after 5 years really like it or are complacent.

Me? I'm doing okay. I've done almost every genre there is to do in my department, "Magazine, Family and Documentary". I did a magazine program, a reality show, a daily live talk show and now, shooting a documentary.

I think what my TV Productions Major and Film Studies Minor really helped in the early parts of my career. I still remember the first time my Television Productions Professor showed me a computer that was used for editing. He said, this machine would change everything, those who learn it would go far in their career. Most of the students in my class didn't think much of it.

Back then everyone was still editing deck to deck. I didn't think much of it either, I meant... editing on a computer? That was just way too advanced. One of the test we had was actually to type a title on the computer. I still remember instinctively cutting and pasting things and my professor was amazed I could cut and paste a title. He didn't even knew it could be done... frankly, neither did I.

Now here I am, teaching people to use the AVID machines we have. I find it amusing when people ask me, when did I learn to use Non-Linear Editing machines like AVID. I think back to 1998 and the first time I saw what must have been one of the earliest version of it in my university. Now that I think about it, I think that machine could only create titles instead of editing. It was a character generator. Man, that was a really old machine.

We have a whole bunch of interns who come in every year. This batch of new interns are starting to make me feel old. They look so young. Maybe just because I keep getting older every year and they just stay the same age every year.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wierd phone call

I got a wierd phone call a few hours ago in the middle of the night. I decided to sleep early tonight. I was already dozing of while watching the midnight news on TV3. I turned of the TV before the news finished and when to bed. Just as I was falling asleep, my phone rang. In my blurry haze I picked it up without even checking who it was.

I turned out to be someone I haven't spoken too in a year. The guy's a VIP now compared to the last time I spoke to him. He called to check... wait now that I think about it, I think he was calling to complain about a news report which involved him. I didn't really know the full story, I had read parts of it in the newspaper so I just agreed to what he had to say. As far as my dealings with him, he was a nice man and I didn't doubt his credibility.

He wanted to clear his name and he wanted to talk to who was in charge of the newsroom. I haven't talked to anyone in the news department in a long time. I told him I'll check tomorrow... I have to find out who's in charge from someone else first of all.

That is if I remember this all tomorrow morning. yawn... time for bed.

I hate it when I get strange phone calls in the middle of the night.

Married!

We're legally married now! I still can't believe it.

Woke up late today, drove to her house with my brother, mother and kids in tow. We took two cars to the Putrajaya National Registration Department. It was quite a fast process. There was a lot of couples there but we only waited 30 minutes I think. The lady who swore us in must have spoken the line so often it was automated. It was kind of like marriage fast food.

My colleague who was my photographer didn't make it in time so I called him to tell he didn't have to come since it was already over. My brother ended up taking photos for us. Her sister was her witness, my brother was my witness.

We quickly hurried ourself out of the room as other couples were also waiting to get hitched. The Putrajaya marriage registration department is really nice compared to some of the ones I have seen around the Klang Valley. The decorated the place with spots for you to even take photos.

No photos to show here but you can surf the net to see what it looks like.

Married!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Using bridal galleries VS doing it yourself

I did my pre-wedding photo shoot. At first I was going to rent the gown for her but after considering the cost, it was cheaper to buy it. I bought a shirt from Raoul. It was a shirt I've seen in Bangar Village but it didn't have my size. I walked into the Raoul in One Utama and they had one that fits me perfectly.

We got her gown at Melinda Looi and I used Anna-Rina to shoot our photos. The makeup was done by Laila from my office. I think the total cost was almost the same as going to a bridal gallery. The benefits if you do on your own from the way I see it is:

1. You get to choose your own photographer which is very important if you don't want the same generic wedding shots everyone else has. In Bridal galleries, they always use the same location and the same poses. Corny isn't it? I prefer working with the photographer who would talk to you and you can figure out what themes you want. Anna-Rina was recommended to me by another photographer we originally wanted to use but he already left the country. Anna was fun to shoot with. Its important to find a photographer who has a full set of lenses. Its the lenses that makes the difference. Anyone can buy a DSLR camera and copy posses from bridal magazines; finding a photographer who is original and has a full set of equipment is hard to find.

2. We get to keep the gowns! I actually bought two gowns for her. The other places we when too wanted at least 1K to rent one gown. We walked into Melinda Looi and we saw two that she really liked and we got it of the rack at RM850 each. Buying of the rack helps. I liked her evening gown, she looks really good in it. If you want one that is specially designed, it would go for at least RM1500. The veil was a bit pricy at RM280 but I guess its quite simbolic. It goes quite well with her white gown. We also got new shoes. I bought a new pair of shoes from Hush Puppies on sale at One Utama. Its really comfortable, I think I just might start wearing it to work.

3. I got my own makeup artist from my office. Laila has been doing makeup for many years and she does the wedding makeup for quite a lot of the staff too. She did an excellent job for our photo shoot. I won't reveal the price because mine was a special price but all I can say is that its much cheaper and better than using an outside one. Laila also followed us around during the shoot to touch up the makeup. In outdoor shoots its important to have the makeup artist follow as the makeup starts to wear of. In one shot, I was asked to kiss her and I got lipstick smudged on her lips (the lipstick was from her lips when she kissed me). Luckily Laila was around to fix it.

4. You get to pick different locations no one has been too before. From what we've seen at the bridal galleries, Putrajaya is quite popular now. Using some lalang field seems quite popular too. I used the hotel where my wedding reception was going to be held. They let me shoot for free in it and I got to use one of their suites to shoot in too. We shot on a Friday so there wasn't many people around. We even managed to take some outdoor shots in the park. We got stuck in traffic so by the time we got to Taman Rimba in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail it was almost dark already. We only started shooting at 3:30PM so all in all, the total shoot was actually 3 hours minus the one hour we got stuck in traffic.

Oh yeah, if you have money, try shooting at Carcosa Seri Negara. For a half day shoot there, they wanted RM1500. Its RM2000 for a full day shoot there. I thought it was way too much. I used to shoots there for work for free. It has a wonderful colonial architecture. I wonder of Bukit Tinggi charges money for Bridal shoots too. I think that would be a nice place to shoot at too.

I don't have the pictures from Anna yet. Still waiting for her to photoshop the shots. We're going to do our own photo book. She recommended a website, www.photobook.com.my. It's a website that lets you set pictures into a template you can download and the email it to them. They would mail you your photo book in a week. Quite cool. Gives me a chance to play around with photoshop too!

Overall, if you like planning every detail do it yourself. If you're not into the details, do it at a bridal house. My whole career has been about shooting and asking people to pose for me. I just couldn't stand how the Bridal houses did it. I wanted someone who I knew would be good and I can work with.



Thanks to Sim and See Ming for tagging along also!

Broken car key

In my office, we have a jockey service. There are more cars with parking stickers than parking space, so its first come first serve. Those who can't get a parking spot, have to use the jockey service and they'll double park the cars next to the other cars.

So far I've used the service without problem, until today. They called me and told me that my car key broke off inside the car door lock. I was shocked, it must have taken quite a lot of force to actually break of the key in the damn lock.

I was pissed, I've used the car for so long and I've never broken the key before. They must have been really rough with the door lock. I had to drive to the mechanic and change the lock. I took the old lock back and after using two paper clips, I managed to pull out the broken part of the key. I drove back to the mechanic to ask if they can still put in the old lock. He said the old lock was damaged already. It wouldn't turn fully and it might jam the next time. I think they must have turned the key so hard it jammed the lock when it broke inside.

Now I have 3 keys. One for the ignition; the driver side car door lock; and one more car door key for passenger, booth and fuel tank. One more extra key to put in the pocket. Damn!

They only gave me one key for the new lock, I better go make a spare ASAP before I loose it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to make free phone calls from your handphone

My father just showed me something really cool, how to make free calls to land lines from the handphone. He bought a new Nokia phone, E51 which had WiFi and could also make SIP calls. His friend recommended he use www.voipstunt.com, a SIP provider.

So what's a SIP provider? Basically, they allow you to make calls over the internet to a phone number. What's interesting about voipstunt is that they all you to call land lines in Malaysia and a few other countries like in the US, United Kingdom and Australia for free. Just sign up and you get free 60 minutes the first time. Buying credits get you more free land line calls.

Now most phone won't be able to make SIP calls on their own so you have to download a program to make VOIP calls. I use Fring on my Iphone and it works for a variety of phones too like my father's Nokia E51. I downloaded the Fring software onto his phone and signed in using his VOIP account.

The nice thing about fring is that you can also chat and do voice calls to friends on your MSN Messenger, Yahoo messenger, Skype, ICQ, Google Talk and a variety of other messenger services. There is a dialer in there that lets you call any phone number either through SIP or Skype so you can choose to use your SIP or Skype account. I tried calling a friend in Canada with the skype account, it worked. Connection was a little dodgy at times but other than that, it worked quite well. I spend 30 minutes on the phone talking to someone in Canada for almost free! (I have to pay for my Wifi connection at home after all).

So now, if I go to anywhere with wifi, I can call a Malaysian land line for free. So I can call lets say my office from my handphone at home for free. Cool right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Funny Jedi Academy Movie



Shit, this movie is really funny. Check out the ending.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

today was the second time I when to see the doctor in my office for my sore troat problem. This time she put me on antibiotics. I should have just started the antibiotic when offered me two days ago. Being stubborn I thought it'll go away but its always the same. I get a sore troat then a running nose followed by a bad cough. I'll be like that for 2 weeks before I get well. This is terrible.

The medication makes me sleepy and I'm a zombie at work. Don't feel like talking to anyone at work. All I want to do is just lie down somewhere and doze of.

I'm using the free wifi at one utama now. Just had lunch at the chicken rice shop. Not only do I have a soretroat, I have a
soretroat in the back my mouth. Irritating pain.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sore Troat

Damn it, coming down with a sore troat. I hate it when that happens. My troat starts to hurt, my nose starts to run and it'll be a few weeks of before I get better.

I blame those idiots who smoke in the office!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Funny Thailand TV commercials

If you ever seen TV commercials from other countries, you'll see the vast difference in the creativity, especially in the humor used. So far I think Thailand and Indonesia has some of the funniest commercials in the region, the Thai's being the most creative.

Lately I've been watching some Thai commercials on my Iphone through Youtube out of boredom and almost every one that I watch made me laugh really hard. Here's one that was really funny. Surpringly its for a facial wash product. Really funny.

It's 4 long commercials edited into one long take. By the way, this video repeats itself twice. Not sure why the guy edited it like that.



The lady who sells the product is really funny, she's also in their other adverts as a repeating character. Here are some of the others in the series.

"Materialism"


"Foam"


"Brand X"


"Everyday Use"


"Daddy"


"Boring face"


This one doesn't have any subtitles but it made me go WTF?!


No subtitle here also but this is cute



This one is not the Smooth E brand, its totally different but it's really funny... yougurt hahaha


This one I think is the funniest.


This one is the best I think, the song is really catchy. It's not really funny but the song sticks in my head.


There are a whole lot of other funny Thai commercials in youtube you can check out on your own. Unlike in Malaysia, we hardly ever surf the internet to find a commercial, we rather avoid it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Me and Mahathir

Interviewing Mahathir

Does this mean I'm now in league with Mahathir or does it just mean I have a picture with him?

I had the opportunity to film a private interview with Tun Dr. Mahathir at the Perdana Leadership Foundation. He was nice enough to oblige me with a picture. It doesn't mean he knows me well, it just means I have a picture with him.

Taking a picture at a location or with someone just means you were there at the same time as the other person. It doesn't say whats your relationship is.

How do you like the huge ass watermark? I'm still learning how to get the watermark right here...

Vigilantes of the Truth

Everyone knows what a vigilante is. It's someone who takes the law in his own hand to correct a perceived in-justice. It could be someone who beats up a snatch thief before the cops arrive or someone who guns down gangsters like the comic book character The Punisher. Those are the common examples, but there is another type of vigilantes... the vigilante bloggers. These type pursue a different type of justice, they want to spread the truth, or what they think maybe the truth.

The problem with these type of bloggers is the same with vigilantes, society in general may not agree with their methods but they agree with the outcome. Some bloggers say they're brave; to hell with lawsuits and the privacy of others... the truth must be exposed! However, there is a problem with that... what if someone innocent got hurt along the way?

What if the snatch thief the mob beat up was the wrong suspect? The mob melts away when the police arrive leaving behind a badly injured innocent victim.

What if the person who was slandered on line by the blogger was really innocent after all? The blogger disappears into anonymity while the reputation of someone has been destroyed. What if the privacy of an innocent bystander was violated in the interest of exposing this so called 'truth'? Too often, editors and bloggers say "we did it without malice, we were just pursuing the truth".

Those who were hurt along the way were just collateral damage in the bigger picture. In university, one of the hardest class I ever took was Mass Media Law. The professor who taught us was an experienced print journalist who had practiced journalism for many years. He was the drill sergeant for all of us aspiring journalists. The passing rate each semester was really low, only less than half the class passed. I was lucky enough to pass the first time with a C.

There was two things that I remember him drilling into us, Shield Laws and Privacy Laws. Shield Laws are basically laws that protect the journalist from legal action such as not having to reveal their source when reporting. The trust between a source and a journalist is one of the most important assets of a journalist, it is the crust of their credibility. With it, journalist can always say "trust me, I'll protect you".

The other laws are privacy laws, some states in the US have privacy laws that protect people from the media. The media cannot reveal the identities of certain type of individuals, for example rape victims, children in criminal cases, etc.

I always saw it as if Lady Justice was balancing privacy on one hand and the sword of truth on the other. The press should be pursuing the truth but must also have rules to obey by. The rules are there to protect the innocent, to prevent 'collateral damage'. In large media organizations, every fact that they print has to be verified by at least one or even two sources. It doesn't matter if the source is anonymous, as long as they are credible. Bloggers on the hand don't live up to that exacting standards. An army of one often cut corners.

Bloggers who don't follow the rules are these new media that the public turns to now. While the traditional print press follows the rules, blogs with sensational claims and 'news' only feeds the public hunger for conspiracy theories.

I blame the government for pushing the public to these bloggers for their news. Their original intention of controlling the press was to prevent public disorder was well intentioned but the implementation was bad. Now the more sensational the unverified claims of the vigilante blogger, the more unrest there is.

There is a famous ethical question I often ask in times like these, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" which means "who watches the watchers?" or "who guards the guardians?". The answer is this:

The question is put to Socrates, "Who will guard the guardians?" or, "Who will protect us against the protectors?". Plato's answer to this is that they will guard themselves against themselves. We must tell the guardians a "noble lie". The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege, they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it.




Yeah, another reason why journalists are poor hacks who love their jobs as gatekeepers of the truth.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vendetta

I don't read the Malaysian print press that much now after the election. I think they lost a lot of their credibility even before the election. I just perceive them to be biased.

However, when I do occasionally read them I find it amusing when I read between the lines.

Recently, the members of the press were barred from the main areas of parliament. The Barisan Backbencers Club removed the baricade after the press stopped reporting on their activities.

Read the article below from the star:

Saturday June 28, 2008 MYT 4:52:13 PM

Najib wants Nazri and Tiong to end spat

By AUDREY EDWARDS

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the feud between Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz and Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BBC) chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to stop.

"I hope it will not continue. Arguments within any group of the Barisan Nasional is an unhealthy development," the deputy Prime Minister told reporters Saturday after opening the International Conference on "Meeting of Minds: Developing the Malaysia Master Brand."

"We must make the effort to resolve the situation so we can focus on our responsibility in Parliament, which is to debate on issues of interest to the people and how we can use our role as Members of Parliament and government to continually defend them."

The feud between Nazri, minister in charge of Parliament affairs and Tiong has gained momentum where Nazri on Friday said he expected the BBC to recommend to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to sack him as a minister.

"If they dare not do that on Monday, then shut up and don’t talk anymore,” he had said.

This was in response to Tiong's statement that BBC was upset with Nazri, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who had called the club members childish and gangster-like after they removed the barricade at Parliament lobby on Tuesday.

The barrier was put up to ban reporters from moving freely in the lobby area.

Tiong had also said that the BBC would hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue and decide on the next course of action to be taken as they felt Nazri had gone overboard.

Najib, when asked whether he, as Barisan whip, would issue a directive for the matter to be resolved, he said: "It is okay. I will whisper."


I found it most amusing that a few days before that, the press has been reporting what Tiong has been saying about Nazri. I feel the press are still pissed about getting blocked out from parliament. They can't admonish Nazri directly but they can report on what others have to say about him... like Tiong here.

I wonder where this is going to go. Its been fun watching the press being biased on this story.

I also read the statutory Declaration from Raja Petra Kamarudin's statutory declaration. I found it most amusing that he's declaring that he knows something that he heard from 'reliable sources'. Don't you just love how conspiracy theories work? A 'reliable source' told someone and immediately it's the truth... what the heck is this, is this the X-Files?

Then anyone can make a statutory declaration that they read in the newspaper about RPK's declaration and they read from reliable sources (is The Star still a reliable source?) that they know something's fishy. Is that proof now?

I declare this is crap. I have spoken. Let it be the truth.

Friday, June 27, 2008

reincarnation

I was sitting back looking at my monitor wondering what else I haven't installed on my PC. I got everything running already as it was before.

I looked around and I saw a CD on my side table, it was Call of Duty 4. It was a game I put of installing for a long time. Since I didn't have any games on my PC, I thought okay... lets see if this new NVIDIA drivers work any better on the Vista with a new game.

COD4 is shooter game. I enjoyed playing COD2 a lot (COD3 was only on Playstation I think, no PC version). COD2 was based in WW2. COD4 is now set in modern day warfare in the middle east and eastern europe. Quite fun shooting up bad guys.

After a few hours of shooting people, hearing grenades exploding and dying and reincarnating a few times I realized something. I understand why the Buddhist don't want to reincarnate anymore. It's just so frustrating. I get shot, I die... I run back to the exact same point I got shot and get shot and die again. This process repeats itself numerous times until I finally shoot the bugger who's been drilling numerous bullet holes into me in my previous life.

After dying one last time, I quit the game and left it at that for today. So leaving the game is kind of like Nirvana. There is no more existence. No battles to fight. I get to leave the PC and go do other stuff like... play with my nephew and niece. At that point, you got to ask yourself, what is the point of it all? Why go through the hassle and stress of killing these polygons and spend so much time completing these tasks in the game? What tangible benefits (karma) do I bring outside when I step away from my PC? I'll just be all psyched out from all the shooting and bombings. Better to cultivate good Karma instead.

I don't think I can play this COD4 longer than an hour. I just don't have the patience anymore to shoot animated people. Now I just want to listen to some music, watch some podcast and play with photoshop.

I like watching photoshop tutorials and editing photos now. Much more peaceful. Currently playing around with the black and white settings. I like seeing how some photos look like with a tinge of sepia.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

moving along

Finally got my PC up and running again just the way I want it. I formatted both the OS. The Vista I formatted by accident. I accidentally installed XP on both the hard disk. That was a stupid mistake to make.

I lost all the data on the Vista hard disk, including a few projects I was working on. Other than that, I still have my music and pictures.

I even when ahead and formatted my Iphone. Yeah, it was getting buggy too so I had to format it. Its always good to format and start over again. I got rid of some of the applications and games on the Vista, XP and Iphone.

The XP runs a little faster now. Vista... not much difference. The quicktime files still hang the PC when I access them. I think it could be a Motherboard architecture problem, not the software problem. Vista just doesn't like my PC setup. XP runs everything fine.

I use Vista for almost everything now except work. XP, I have to use it because it has the AVID system in it. Vista has my games! Currently playing Call Of Duty 4. Man, I haven't played a First Person Shooter in months. So rusty.

I didn't reinstall Command and Conquer. Got bored of it. My brother's playing it now on his new Dell. Good luck to him on that!

Anyway, besides sleepless nights spend over the electronics, the wedding and renovation plans are moving along. Renovations are almost done at the apartment. Just a bit more for the electrical wiring. They did a really dodgy job, it was all miscommunication. I haven't gone back to see if they understood if the fixed the problem. Plus, they have to touch up the painting too.

I hope to buy some furniture next month. Everything is going as plan.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

format

damn it. Never trust stupid keygen from the Internet.

I downloaded a keygen for a software to backup my hard disk and the damn keygen was a virus. I had to format the PC and ended up accidentally
formatting the wrong drive. I formatted the vista OS instead of the XP drive. Now I have to install both again.

I lost all the data on the vista drive including the one with some projects on it. That totally sucks.

maybe its a good thing. Now I get to start this vista drive all over again properly. I just wished I has saved the video project folders.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Istana Negara's garden tea party on Agong's birthday

I had to work today, even though it was a public holiday. It was the Agong's birthday but I had to be at his garden tea party at Istana Negara to shoot it. The dress code was suit, tie and songkok. By the time I got there, a lot of the guest had already started arriving. I drove all the way up to the back gate and the guards stopped us to verify our identity. Normally, the press had to walk in. They finally let us drive in after they confirmed who we were.

It was hot at first then it rained and I got wet. I don't think Malaysian weather is suited for wearing a long jacket and songkok. Wearing a songkok just makes me really uncomfortable in this hot humid weather.



IMG_5211
The Agong walking in, happy birthday tuanku! Erm... I forgot Tuanku's age, I think better left unsaid.

Istana Negara garden tea party
The prime minister and wife following closely behind with the Deputy Prime Minister and wife.

Istana Negara garden tea party
I think a company sponsored this golf themed cake. I wonder what it tasted like.

Istana Negara garden tea party
The horses at the front gate of Istana Negara. Did you know that Istana Negara used to belong to a Chinese tycoon? I was talking to Tan Sri Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Khim and he was telling me the history of the building. He was just made a Tan Sri earlier in the morning. Congratulations again Tan Sri!

IMG_5214
The band playing Negaraku.



IMG_5216
Tuanku getting ready to cut his birthday cake.


Nurul Izzah at Istana Negara Garden Tea Party
I saw Nurul Izzah, the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai there with her husband. There were quite a number of opposition MP's there too like Tian Chua. He was one of the MP's that stood out from the crowd. A lot of guest walked up to shake his hand.

I found it quite ironic that only a few months ago during the Bersih rally, the opposition leaders marched down to Istana Negara trying to pass a memorandum to the Agong. The police wouldn't let them meet the Agong and they never got pass the main gates. Today, some of the opposition members are walking around in the gardens mingling with the crowd.

It goes to show the Agong is non-political. I didn't see Karpal Singh, Wan Azizah or Tun Dr. Mahathir though. Probably elsewhere... maybe they were there but the crowd was so huge, I might have missed them.

IMG_5217
All the guest lining up to wish the Agong happy birthday and shake his hand. Even the ambassadors and VIP's had to line up. I think there must have been at least a 1000 guest. I didn't stay until the end, I figure it must have taken at least an hour for the Agong to shake hands with everyone. By the way, the man in the suit talking to the lady in purple is Tan Sri Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Khim with his wife.

At the end of the day, I was drenched in sweat. I have to dry clean my suit tomorrow. It was soaked in sweat. Anyway, it was fun visiting the palace and talking to some of the guest.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

what's new with the Iphone

I've added some new programs to my Iphone:

Iphonevideorecorder
The unpaid version of this program only allows 30 second recordings. I found a crack online for it. Now my Iphone is complete, it is finally like a 'normal' phone with a video camera. It encodes in mp4 format. You record a video and then after you are done with it, its in an uncoded format. It takes about a minute to encode a minute of video so there is no real time encoding to mp4.

Fring
Fring offers VOIP for the Iphone. I came across their application as I was surfing the net. I was wondering if Iphone has such a large sofware community developer out there, someone must have developed a VOIP software for it... and someone just did. Fring offers Skype calls over the Iphone. What this means is, if you have free wifi connection, you can use the fring account on your Iphone to make a call. I haven't tried calling anyone with the Fring yet (no one to call!). Another added bonus of the Fring account is that you get to also add all your chat contacts from MSN, Yahoo, etc.

Meebo
Meebo is actually just a bookmark to a website which allows you to chat online with your MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Gtalk, etc friends. Doesn't work in my office wifi, they blocked all the chat websites. If I really want to chat with someone, I have to walk to One Utama to use their free wifi.

Docs
This is a utility tool. With this program, you can open up the directories in your Iphone. So basically, the Iphone turns into a large storage device (kind of like a thumb drive). To access it, you need to connect to it through SSH. I upload my PDF photoshop tutorial files into it so when I'm in the office editing photos, I can refer to my Iphone.

The Iphone can't open PDF files larger than 6MB so I have to break down the files into every ten pages. Kind of tedious but at least I can read the files.

There are other programs I have on the Iphone like MxTube, Convert (it's a measurement converter), gemlogic, OrbLive, etc. All this are pretty common programs.

I don't really like this OrbLive program as I'm afraid of privacy issues. How it works is you install it on the Desktop PC at home and leave it connected to the internet. It will stream media to your Iphone through the internet. It works better if you have a TV Card tuner so it will allow you to watch TV on the Iphone. I don't have a TV Card Tuner so I can only stream photos, videos and music. I'm afraid someone might get into my Orb account and they'll get my private media files.

I also bought 24, Season 6 on DVD. It comes in 3 disk. All the episodes are highly compressed but that's okay as I was going to convert it to the Iphone format. The conversion program I used, Handshake had a problem recognizing the chapters in the disk. It could only convert the first four chapters and missed out on the other four on each disk. At least now I can watch some TV programs on the Iphone.

It's a bit tedious to watch TV shows longer than 30 minutes on the Iphone, my hand gets tired from holding it and the volume is too low in a noisy room. The only time its fun to watch is when I'm in bed hiding under the covers in the dark. I hide under the covers as the acoustic sounds better. I feel like a little kid again.

Most of the time now I just watch the podcast news video I download. I have CBS Evening news with Katie Couric, ABC podcasts and CNN podcasts. I don't really like listening to audio podcast, I prefer video podcast... much more fun. It's also very distracting. I tried watching it at a traffic light once while driving, I almost missed the green light. I don't think I'll do it again.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Seeding Life

If you ever read the "Hitchiker's Guide To Life" series, you'll know the book is basically about the search for the question to 42. A large super computer comes up with the answer to The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. They never found out the ultimate question to it though, which would give meaning to 42. Earth turns out to be a giant experiment created by aliens to find out this ultimate question. A girl does come up with the question and just as she was about the place a phone call to ask the question, the earth gets destroyed.

Sometimes I wonder, what if the ultimate question actually occurred to me. Today, was such an instance.

Today, I was driving back to the office in the rain thinking to myself when the thought seeped into my mind. It wasn't a drive I had to take if I didn't make a silly mistake today. I had gone to UIA in Gombak for an interview in a colleague's car think how lucky I was as I didn't have to pay for the fuel as it was a long drive. After the interview, I returned to the office in another colleague's car. Only when I reached my office did I realize I forgot to get back my IC from the UIA's guard house. I had to make another return trip in my own car which took an hour both ways. It was on the return trip that something occurred to me.

I was listening to the radio and it was a Public Service Announcement about the environment. The announcer said this was the only planet we have. I thought, hey... there are probably a lot more planets out there a million light years away that we can colonize. We just won't live long enough to see the results. Assuming we haven't mastered the technology of faster than light travel or teleportation, we're never going to colonize another planet similar to earth fast enough so we can see the fruit's of our results. By the time we do get there, life on earth would have already extinguished.

I imagined that by the time if we do send living settlers in a large spaceship, by the time they do reach the planet, they would have evolved into another creature that we won't be able to call humans. If we have put them into statis form, it might work but then it would still be too risky to send something so far for over such a long period of time, we could be talking million of years here, anything could go wrong.

I thought the solution would be this, we would send asteroids out that are seeded with the basic cocktails to start life. Some amino acids stored inside some asteroids or chemicals that were similar to how life started on earth. We'll shoot a lot of these asteroids out to space and hopefully, they'll fall on a new planet similar to earth and after a few million years... humans will appear on it.

That led me to another thought... what if that was what happened to us... what if life on earth was the result on another planet's dominant species seeding life on this planet? What if somewhere out there, is another planet, similar to us with creatures almost similar to humans waiting for us to evolve so that we can develope space travel and then contact them back?

What if we are the result of a planet colonization program? The end result of our destiny is to develope space travel technology or deep space communication tools so we can reach back to our creators and confirm the success of their colonization program.

Or, it could be that, they just wanted to continue life. Our creators were part of an endless string of life seeding programs that span millions of years over millions of planets. Each planet in the string evolves to the point they can seed life on another planet and 'pro-create'.

So the planet in itself becomes a huge living being mass, its society serving as one large sentient being for the planet. Even though each individual on the planet is also a sentient being, this large sentient being feels the need to pro-create and seeds out life to other planets.

Ever seen how plants just want to pro-create? Everything on this planet is about the continuation of life... life will find a way to continue. It will find ways to multiply and continue. My theory states that planets such as earth is a type of sentient being that wants to multiply. It will seek out ways to multiply.

In Buddhism, I learn that there life is an endless cycle of reincarnation... what if this endless cycle of reincarnation is like that? As a new galaxy forms with new planets and life seeds on it... after many years the planet falls back into the sun and life dies out on it. Our essence just continues on another planet that we have seeded, we live out everything again. It's an endless cycle of life.

It was only after endless planets seeded that the Buddha realized how to end this cycle. He saw to the very beginning what it was like and he could see into the future. He found a way to step out of this never ending cycle. Could it be for every planet that was seeded with life, there was a Buddha, someone who saw this trend and wanted a way out of it?

What if 'live' is actually a parasite? What if there another sentient planet out there that is the opposite of us, they want to stop this endless seeding of life on other planets? They could be 'predators' going around the universe destroying planets already seeded with life. Their mission is to end this endless cycle.

Well, that was the thoughts that were running through my head today while I was driving. Driving makes me think a lot.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Goodbye Toni

Today the government raised the fuel prices at the pump to RM2.70, up by 78 cents. There was a huge jam all over as people lined up to pump up their car tanks.

My car was only 1/3 full and I calculated I'll only save RM20 so I gave it a miss considering the long line at the stations.

Everyone is just going to be talking about this fuel price for a long time, however something else caught my attention in the news. It was the passing of Zaitun 'Toni' Kassim. She was an activist I got to know when I was producing a women's talk show. She was outspoken on women's rights and trully insprational to hear. Not many television shows wanted to invite her as some of her ideas were against the conservative norms. At least I'm proud to say I gave her the platform to reach out.

When I first met Toni, she came on my show representing a women's NGO. I can't remember what was the topic but I think it was about family law. A lot of viewers called in to attack her views. I had a hard time screening her calls but deep down I knew I had touched a spot among the viewers. A lot of other female viewers shared her feminist viewed.

I invited her back a few more times because she spoke with clarity and bravery. Through the other 'radical' feminist organizations I got to know many other activist like her. I admire their conviction.



Goodbye Toni, I'll miss you. It was such a shock to hear you were gone and I don't get to call you anymore. Thank you for the good work you have done, and all the people you have helped. I'll remember you for your bravery and standing up for women's rights.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Portable Hard Disk corrupt

Yesterday, I was editing on the AVID system at work. I use this huge 1TB portable Maxtor Hard Disk. It must weigh about 5KGs. Anyway, half way through the editing, I accidentally drag the OMFI Mediafiles folder into another folder. Usually, you can just undo it but I think the folder was so large in size (500G), there was a file error. The whole folder got corrupted.

The data wasn't missing as the total Hard Disk size said there was still 500G of data used. I defragment it and it still didn't find the data. I brought it home and downloaded EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard. It takes a very long time to just scan the file directory.

Its got another 3 hours plus to go and its raining now... that means the thunderstorm might trip the power in my house, and when the power goes I have to start all over again! Shit!

I hope the thunderstorm doesn't get too close to my house.

If this fails, all the stuff I ingested for the last month is gone. I'll have to ingest everything again, that's like 30 tapes I think. This better work!

Friday, May 30, 2008

flying kancil

yesterday as I was driving home from my apartment, i was approaching a sharp turn on the road in bandar utama. It was a four lane road with a divider with palm trees in the centre. I slowed down as this was a dangerous corner. There's been a few accidents on this road already.

About 20 metres in front of me, I saw the most amazing thing. A red Kancil from the opposite lane hit the divider, flew in the air onto my lane. As it was in mid air, it turn over almost 180 degrees and landed on its side and the forward motion pushed it back upright on all four wheels. I immediately brakes as there was also a lorry in front of me. Good thing the lorry didn't run into the kancil and it didn't fall on anyone!

No one else stopped to help. I got down and ran up to help. The driver was a Chinese guy who looked daze and bleeding from his forearm. His car was upright so luckily he could exit the car easily. Other than a smashed side window and broken side mirror his car looked ok. I offered to take him to the hospital but he wanted to go home. I asked if there was anyone at home, he said no one. I replied since no one is at home its best I take him to the hospital first. While we were talking another Chinese guy walks up with a walker talkie. I think it was less than 15 minutes after the accident. The guy offered his card and wanted to tow the car.

By then the bleeding guy was in the backseat of my car already. I gave him some tissues to stop the bleeding plus I didn't want him bleeding all over my car. The tow truck operator didn't want to let us leave until we gave him the car keys. He kept saying you can trust me. I looked at him and he looked like the typical ah beng who sells DVDs. The victim was in a shocked and finally agreed.

I drove the guy to the Damansara Specialist hospital. On the way there he told me he lost control of the car and the next thing he knew, he was on the other side of the road. I told he was lucky to be alive. He added he was on leave and was on the way back from the bank. Poor guy.

I drove him into the emergency room. Just to make sure he was ok, I parked and when in to see him. The nurses was trying to explain to him he can only use his insurance card if he was admitted. If it was outpatient treatment he had to pay first and claim later. I told him just see the doctor and worry about the money later.

As I was leaving, the ah beng tow truck operator came looking for him. I left them together.

I guest I'm lucky to be alive too. If was driving any faster, the kancil would have landed on my car and killed me. It wasn't the first accident I sawon that road. I've seen over 20 at the same corner. I think I have to write to MBPJ and ask them to install a speed bump. People tend to drive really fast on it.


I told the story to my colleagues and the first thing they asked me was where are the pictures. Damn it, I actually wanted to take some but considering the gravity of the situation, I didn't have time.

Later in the evening the victim SMS me thanking me. I guessed he lived to tell his tale.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Malaysian Artises for Unity



check this out, a bunch of Malaysian artist got together to come out with a free song about national unity. It's quite catchy too!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

hello

I have a feeling my private compartmentalized life is colliding. It used to be my anonymous identity on the Internet was secure. I now find that soon people from other compartments in my life is encroaching into other areas.

I organize my life into a few separate compartments. I'm a privacy freak, I separate my life into work, family, personal friends, and my persona on the Internet.

A few days ago, someone at work asked me about my flickr account. I never told anyone about it before. I'm thinking, if they know my facebook and flickr account, they probably read this blog then.

My worlds are colliding, its harder to secure information about my life. The security leaks are my own faults. Maybe subconsiously i want it all to merge.

It used to be many years ago, I discovered emails back in the mid 90's. Then I discovered IRC. It opened a whole new world to me. My whole social life was on the Internet. The keyboard was an extension of my brain. I began to interact with the world through it. i had virtual friends; I fell in love with someone I never met on the Internet; I bought things through Internet sites. For many years, I lived in the matrix. I was physically in front of a monitor and my hands were glued to a keyboard. It was safe interaction.

when I started working, it was a strange world for me. I had to physically interact with people. By then I had forgotten or never really learned a lot of social skills I should have known. It was hard, people thought I was aloof as I didn't want to talk. The truth was, I was afraid. I was afraid of interacting with someone, with anyone in the real world. In the cyberworld, I was just a nickname and an idea. They only saw the words I typed. There was no body language; no smell; no beauty to behold. Just words. My world was safe in my cocoon.

Now things have changed. I'm learning to to interact physically with the world. Its not perfect but I'm trying. If i don't talk to you it doesn't mean I don't like you (actually, it could) it just means I don't know what to say to you.

So I say it here, hello, nice to meet you. What's your name?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Playing with the Iphone

Haven't written much lately, that's because I've been busy with a few things.

I've been learning how to meddle with my Iphone a lot. Here are some of the things I've accomplished so far:

1. Putting ringtones into the Iphone. This wasn't too hard. In the original unlocked Iphone, you could only buy ringtones online. I finally learned how to create my own ringtones. I also learned how to use Adobe Soundbooth CS3 a little. Not easy I must say. I wonder if I have the tutorial stashed away somewhere for Soundbooth. Anyway, now I got different ringtones for different people. For my office, I have the Mission Impossible and Macgyver TV theme. I think it's most fitting. Every time I get a call from the office, I have to do some Macgverism (yeah, there is actually such a word!).

2. Installing NES and Super NES into the Iphone. This was the hardest part. I had to first learn how to FTP into my Iphone. It wasn't easy, I had to download a few FTP programs to get it right. Basically, the Iphone first needs SSH connection. I downloaded it from the installer. Then I had to download a FTP program to connect me to the Iphone. My old WS_FTP didn't have SSH FTP connection. I settled for SmartFTP which is going to expire in 30 days. Better find a new one.

Anyway, now I got some old arcade games in the Iphone. I have Punisher, Golden Axe, Street Fighter 2, etc. The interface is quite hard because the buttons aren't real buttons you can press. I find games that are not too intense easier to play. Beat em' up games are harder as I have to constantly press some buttons and the Iphone gets really warm too. I can't save any games on this. Not sure why when it's suppose to work.

3. Transferring movies to the Iphone. I've been transferring some of the DVD's I haven't watched yet to the Iphone. I have to encode it into mpeg4 or H264. I think H264 is a better compression, I use Handshake, it's a freeware and it's quite easy to use. The only down part is it takes really long to encode one DVD. I think it takes about the whole duration of the movie, if the movie was one hour, the encoding will take about an hour too. So what I do is I usually leave the PC on over night and encode a few DVD's.

I only watch action movies now on the Iphone. I can't watch a movie all at one go on it. The only time I watch a movie is when I'm waiting for someone or in my bed just before I sleep. I need plot lines that are easy to follow and pick up after constant stop and plays.I think I'll go find some TV series and try downloading it into them. I wonder if I can find Heroes season 3. I've been meaning to catch up on 24 season 5 too. I'll see if I can borrow the DVD from anyone, I don't want to be paying too much for the box set.



My apartment renovation is slower than I expected. There's a lot of things that have to happen in a sequence so if one thing takes up too much time, it affects the others. Really irritating.

I got to get things done for the wedding too! Really behind in time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

good day

today has been an extremely good day so far. How do I know its a good day? Well its a "I-found-something-I-lost-day". Occasionally I loose things which is usually misplaced. Initially I will give it up for good but later it will turn up on its own. Today was the day things started turning up.

I woke up this morning and decided to clean my toilet bowl. I took the jet spray and sprayed high pressure water into it to give it a good flush. After a minute of that, I saw something drop down from the other end of the toilet bowl bottom. I took a closer look and I'd was part of my electric shaver that I thought had gone into the sewers. A month ago, I dropped my electric shaver into the toilet bowl while shaving. I fished it out and washed it. After using the toilet a few times then only did I realize that part of the shaving blade fell of into the toilet bowl. I gave it up for good... That is until it reappeared today.

Normally I would be too grossed out to fish anything out of a toilet bowl but this is my own personal toilet bowl and I wash it quite often. I reason since only my own sewage goes into it, its not too gross. I washed the blade and fitted it back into the electric shaver and now it works again! Yes! Okay, so I shave with a shaver that's been in the toilet bowl, no big deal to me. This shaver has sentimental value to me. I bought it when I was a student in the US. So that makes this shaver 10 years old. I'm surprised it still works so well. That's why Panasonic is one of my favourite brands.

Another thing I found after cleaning up my sofa was my Iphone headset. I thought I had lost it at work. Turns out it was hidden under the cushion on the sofa. Damn it, I already bought a replacement. I think I'll leave one by my bed and listen to music while I surf the internet on my iPhone which by the way, I'm doing right now.

My typing skills has vastly improved since I started blogging with it. It just takes practice.

A colleague came over today. He wanted to convert DVD's into AVI files that AVID could read. Normally for that type of workflow I just rename the VOB file as .mpg and import it into premiere pro. His old version of AVID could only import certain file formats. No mp4 or divx or xvid. His laptop couldn't support CS3 so in the end we had to move to plan B.

I loan him my video camera and thought him how to record the DVD straight to the camera. It's not the efficient way to work but at least it gets the job done. Hope it works out for him.

Since its Wesak Day I figure that would be my good karma deed for today. I didn't go I the temple today, I when yesterday. I profess Buddhism ast religion but I don't really believe all the rituals. To me its just symbolic. I figure maybe I'll do more good by staying home and staying out of the traffic chaos at the temple. Better to cultivate good karma through my deeds than burning josstick.

Still a few more hours before the day ends, keeping my fingers crossed it all ends well today!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

formatting the PC

I'm really nervous right now. I'm reinstalling winxp on my PC. right now I'm formatting the second hard disk using the Vista OS. I bought the original copy of vista business edition. I don't use it much except for gaming and surfing.

All the real work is done on the XP OS. Lately I think I screwed up the XP OS, the AVID I installed won't run, there's a pop up browser virus plus a slew of a lot of other tiny bugs that bothers me. I finally decided to burn everything down and start again. I already bought a Western Digital My Book 500GB external hard disk. Big Enough to back up everything so far. I copied the whole hard disk worth of 350GB into it.

Now I'm checking the HD that I'm going to install XP on for errors. No point checking for fragmentation since it'll be empty before anything goes in. Good thing I found the A drive diskette with the motherboard drivers. I haven't used the A drive in years and the diskette was literally collecting dust under the PC.

All this waiting is making me nervous. My biggest fear is formatting the wrong partition and installing it on the HD with Vista instead. Scary!

my hands are shaking a little just thinking about it.

Maybe watching a DVD while I wait would help.

Friday, May 16, 2008

more videos of Marie Digby in One Utama





Someone e-mailed me through my youtube account requesting for more videos of Marie Digby in One Utama. I don't have much plus they're not very good videos but I've uploaded them anyway.

I was going to download her music but in the end I decided to buy a second hand album from someone in the office.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Marie Digby in One Utama



I got some video of Marie Digby performing live in One Utama. I didn't get any good still photos as the crowd was huge and I couldn't get close enough.

I didn't bring my video camera either. All I had was my compact camera which I captured the video above. Surprisingly, it captured the video and audio quite well... minus the shaky hands.

The rest of the still photos are in my flickr account.

waiting for Marie Digby

I'm in one utama now. Originally I came here to see marie digby perform her free concert here at 8pm. After standing around waiting I got hungry and now I'm at a ramen shop waiting for my noodles. Hopefully the music would be loud enough for me to hear as I eat my noodles.

I was going to see her when she came to my office yesterday but I didn't wake up early enough. There's a really young crowd out there waiting for her which makes me feel out of place.

Ok, noodles are here, time to eat! I love the free wifi in one utama!

Don't wave at me, it makes me nervous

In my office, they just moved the Fly.FM radio station into their brand new studios near my editing studios. So I have to walk by their 'fish bowl' DJ console everytime I walk to the editing decks. The Hot.FM fish bowl is right at the front lobby so they get the most stares. The Fly.FM fish bowl is hidden so most of the people who walk by it are staff.

The DJ's sit in a room with glass walls and everyone can see them, so I call it the fish bowl. Normally, when I come in the morning I can see the DJ's at work or see them at breakfast at the cafeteria.

Yesterday, as I walked by, I realized Phat Fabes was waving a hello at me. I sheepishly waved a hello back at him since we can't hear each other (his room is sound proof). It makes me wonder, how the heck does he know who I am? I wonder if he was waving instead to someone behind me?

I spoke to him once on the phone but I've never introduced myself in real life before. It freaks me out sometimes when people know who I am but I don't know who they are.

I'm one of the only 3 chinese in my department so it makes it easy for people to remember my name. I walk by the office corridors and people I've only spoken too a few times know my name and they would say hi. I hardly remember their names so I just say hi back. Once, a guy came up to me in the office and said my name and proceeded to give me his business card. I replied, "you know me?". He said, now he does and proceeded to tell me if I ever needed carpets, I can call him. Hrmm...

In my university, I used to stay in a coed dorm. There was this cute Hmong girl who lived on my floor. We never spoke before but we walk by each other in the same corridors. One day, I finally cut my shoulder length hair and as I was walking back to my room, she walked pass me. She looked at me and said "you cut your hair!". I laughed and said "yes, it was about time". Strange what people notice about you. I never really did have the courage to talk to her. When I was going to cut my hair, the student hairstylist kept asking me if I was really sure I wanted to cut my hair short. She even offered to save all the cut hair in a shoebox for me. That was kind of gross. I declined.

Tomorrow I'm going to walk by the Fly FM fish bowl and see if the DJ's do wave back again.

An Inconvenient Truth

the more I think about the disaster in Myanmar and the earthquake in China, the more I think about Al Gore's documentary, "The Inconvenient Truth".

It's a really scary movie to watch, the scariest part is you know deep down Gore is telling the truth. We're slowly killing our self by polluting the environment. While earthquakes have nothing to do with global warming, cyclones do. The tornadoes and cyclones/typhoons are just going to get worst. Droughts would be longer. We'll have less rainfall in large crop growing areas. The worldwide food crisis is going to get worst.

Many people are going to starve to death. Fuel prices would continue to rise and soon Malaysia will be a net importer of petroleum. If you think inflation is high now, 10 years from now it would be so high most Malaysians would not be able to afford to drive anymore. We won't have to worry about building the second Penang Bridge as traffic would be less. The government should instead invest more in public transport.

I wish the Malaysian government invested more in researching alternative energy sources. Ethanol has been proven to be bad for the environment. The crops we are growing is now being used as fuel instead of feeding people. We must learn how to harness our hydro and solar power. There must a huge social restructuring of how we use energy. The shift from petroleum, gas and coal must take place now before it is too late.

We can make a change for the better, we just have to get started. If only everyone knew the urgency of the situation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Disasters in Myanmar and China

Recently there has been two major disasters. Cyclone Nargis that ravaged Myanmar and the devastating earthquake in China. Current estimates for the death toll in China stands at least 10,000 victims.

I think China has a good track record in responding to natural disasters, since the dynastic times, the emperors knew that they had to response to disasters fast. Slow response could mean a revolt on their hand.

The Myanmar junta however are still slow to respond to aid offers from other countries.

When you sit back and look at the situation, taking into account the food crisis that the world is suffering from and the huge population of the earth, I start to wonder what does it all mean?

I think the world is over populated. We don't manage our population growth very well as we are growing faster than the supply of our food. The environment is in a terrible state, resulting in droughts.

The Burmese that survived the tragedy now have to worry about their food supply. The rice crops are gone. The farmers who tended the fields are gone. Who would feed the rest of the nation?

The Chinese have huge flooding and earthquakes almost every year. Yet, their economy trives. It goes to show how large their population is. The Chinese are even now going overseas to look for land to grow food to send back home. This is nothing new, they have been doing the same for minerals for their growing economy.

Could this be the sign of a new colonial Chinese government? The Chinese government are already in all the hotspots of the world exploring for oil (so is Petronas).

The world is changing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hindraf talk at School of Oriental and African Studies, London


IMG_4551, originally uploaded by luxen.

I saw this poster while waiting to do an interview at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London.

The university is full of activies. They have students in the front of the university gathering support for someone who was detained.

I wonder what they think of Hindraf in Malaysia... and who is Dr. Graham K. Brown?

Shadows of London

Some interesting silhouettes around London, most of it from Westminster Bridge looking at the Big Ben.

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The Eye of London

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I love the clouds!

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Me taking a cab ride.

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I like this Angel, it looks as if she is riding towards you. More like a valkrie.

The people of London

Okay, just some pictures from London. I took some random photos of people walking by. There are a lot of good looking ladies.

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Check out the lady in shades, she looked like Paris Hilton. I saw her crossing the road.


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Debenham, Chui Yan's favourite store.

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It was chilly at 10C but this Londoners seem to get by with less clothes than me.

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A lot of Asians in London.

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Nice coat lady!

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Funky.

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Check out the lady taking a photo of the display at the Banana Republic store.

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Londoners are quite fashionable!

Iphone summary

After a few weeks of using my Iphone, here's my conclusion:

Iphone is a lousy phone but a good multimedia device. It's best asset is its high resolution screen and Safari browser.

The Iphone is missing a lot of features that basic phones in Malaysia comes with like bluetooth connection with other phones to send files; MMS and a few others.

I also have a bug in this phone where I have to keep re-dialling a phone number before it connects.

Anyway, overall I like it. I'm not a heavy phone user. My EDGE data bill for Maxis has gone through the roof. I check my bill online and it's RM113 currently for this month, I downloaded 6.2MB of data on it so far. I think the large chunk of the bill came from playing around with google map.

I love the high resolution pictures, I like looking up high-res pictures and zooming in to see the details. I think the Iphone has sharper pictures than my desktop CRT monitor! I love watching DVD's on it.

Right now I got Cloverfield in it, not the best movie to watch as it's mostly shot handheld and I'm watching it on a handheld device. I could get motion sickness from just watching it.

It's my mother's birthday today, taking her out for dinner later. I wonder if I have time to download some new podcast. I've been watching a lot of the CNN podcast, quite fun.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Iphone short comings

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My Iphone when I first got it.


One of the reasons I got the Iphone was because of the internet browsing experience. First of all, I have to say I've rarely used Safari before I got the Iphone. In fact, I was hardly ever an Apple user.

Now with the Iphone, I'm tempted to download Safari to my desktop. I like how Safari lets me browse webpages as full pages on the Iphone. That's fun. I get to check almost all the websites I normally visit.

The only hard part is blogging, the damn Iphone doesn't have a copy and paste command. When I want to add pictures to my blog, I normally copy and paste the html code from my flickr picture but since I don't have copy and paste, I would have to individually type it in the whole html code. I haven't tried it yet but the codes are damn long and I don't want to try.

There's quite a lot of short falls for this Iphone that you expect in any other Malaysian phones:

1. No MMS. There are some additional programs you can download but it's not the same like how you have MMS messages on normal phones. Maybe MMS traffic isn't such a big thing in the US but over here, MMS is catching up. I can't receive or send MMS now unless I install additional programs.

2. Cannot send and receive contacts. My old Samsung phone could only receive contacts from Samsung brand phones, not Nokia. So this one didn't really bother me. I have to manually type it out in a SMS if I want to send someone's contact.

3. No video recording. Video recording is only available with additional downloads. That's a bummer. It already has a nice camera, why didn't they build in a video recorder?

4. Phone numbers are displayed wierd. When I save phone numbers, normally I would type starting with 012 or 013, etc and save it under my contact's name. However, when a contact calls me, it doesn't display their name even though their number is saved. The reason is because all phone numbers are displayed starting with +6012 or +603 etc. It's quite irritating so now I have to re-type all my contact's number.

5. First call out doesn't work. This is a wierd problem, if I call someone the first time, the phone doesn't connect. Only on the second or third attempt it works. For example, if I want to call my house, I would search it up in the contacts and press the phone number and it'll start dialing. I hear the engage tone and it says call failed. I press the call again and then only I hear the dialing tone.

6. Typing on the keypad is really slow. I thing I getter speed typing on a numerical phone keypad. Because it's a touch screen phone, I don't get to feel the numbers like a normal keypad. If you type fast, sometimes you end up pressing the wrong keys. Granted, the spell check works pretty good on the Iphone, sometimes when I type in Malay it can be really irritating.

7. Cannot download ringtones. This one doesn't bother me too much. I just started learning how to create ringtones from my list of MP3's for my samsung phone. However, I can't do that for this Iphone. I suppose there must be some way to create your own ringtone. I know it recognizes only mp4 format ringtones. I just have to find a way to get it into the right folder.

8. Short battery life. If I use the Iphone for heavy internet browsing and watching movies, then the battery life is just 3 hours up time total. Not very long. I thought of buying another USB cable to charge the phone in the office but the cable is RM68, too expensive to get.

9. Can't edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. Okay, granted this isn't a Windows Mobile 6 OS phone, but I would have loved to have the option to edit Microsoft Office documents. Right now, I can't even safe the documents to the phone. I have to browse and view it online only.

10. Surfing on EDGE is expensive. I have to be careful that I don't browse the internet when the EDGE is turned on, it can be really expensive. I only browse if its on WiFi. So far I have WiFi now in most of the places I use the Iphone... except when I'm driving and I shouldn't be browsing the internet when I'm driving!

There are other small things that bothers me about the phone. Other than the 10 points I listed, this is a pretty good phone for the GB169 price I paid. In Ringgit, it was only RM1054 so for that price range I think I got a pretty good phone. I think the biggest competition to this phone would be the HTC Touch phones. Their screen doesn't display movies as clear as the Iphone though.

I'm starting to convert all my DVD's to Iphone format now so I can watch it when I have nothing to do. I just finished watching No Country For Old Men, Flags of Our Father and Zodiac on the Iphone. 3 very long movies which I watched while I was waiting for Chui Yan in One Utama and at work ingesting tapes.

I think the next thing I'm going to get is my laptop after I settled my expenses for the apartment. I see the price of the notebook I want from Dell is getting cheaper. Good thing I didn't get it earlier!