Sunday, August 28, 2005

Richard Stallman in Malaysia

Richard Stallman was in town to speak about Software Freedom and the Danger of Software Patents (link here) yesterday afternoon.

I'm no free software advocate but I couldn't pass up the chance to listen to Richard Stallman speak. Richard Stallman (or RMS which he prefers to be known) is known as the founding father of some of the most important movements in the software industry worldwide namely the GNU (GNU's not UNIX) project and the FSF (Freedom Software Foundation). He's also credited as being the author of the GPL (GNU General Public License) license which is the most widely used free software license. He may not be that well known beyond the IT industry but his name is often grouped with the likes of Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds (both of whom Stallman are unfriendly with for various reasons).

Depending on who you ask RMS is either a saint or a religious extremist (in the context of software being religion). If you ask Stallman this question though he will retort that he is not a religous person at all. What do I think of him? Besides from recommending that he groom a little I am glad he's around to fight for our freedom. What freedom? RMS champions the Free Software movement and he often explains his definition of free as being free speech rather than free beer.

I'm not going to touch on the topics that RMS spoke about in the seminar because he spoke for 3 of the 4 hours allocated for his seminar which means he touched upon a hell of a lot of subjects. Surprisingly though I did not hear much I did not already know from him (but there were some interesting bits particularly about Linux). No fault of RMS though. While it was my first time meeting RMS I was already familiar with everything he had to say. No doubt this is thanks to my frequent patronage of slashdot. If you're interested in learning about RMS and his philosophy follow the links at the end.


Richard Stallman

Towards the end of the seminar RMS put on his infamous St. Ignutius garb (he brings that darn thing around the world?!!). Now if you are not familiar with St. Ignutius, he is a Saint in the Church of Emacs. According to St. Ignutius, emacs is a better text editor than vi because vi vi vi is the editor of the beast (get it? hehehe). Well anyway I'm partial to vi so I guess I can't join the Church of Emacs. Oh and by the way, that halo above his head... that's a hard disk platter from the time when computers filled up a whole room. I mean look at the size of that thing! I bet it probably only stores a megabyte or so :P


St. Ignutius (there's a GNU in iGNUtius... get it?)

I wish I had taken a picture with him but I was too silly and completely drained the battery in my camera by taping a video of his talk (which is not complete because the battery could not outlast RMS's speech).

Not really related: When I arrived at UM, I parked my car and proceeded to where I thought the seminar was being held. There were three other guys who parked near where I parked. I ended up in the wrong building and so did the other 3 fellas because I suspect they were blindly following me :) Anyways I did not notice this earlier but I'm pretty sure now that I recognize two of them... the first one's pretty obvious because he stands out a fair bit and the second is a well known figure in the local blogoshpere as well. I'll make it a point to introduce myself the next time I bang into them. Surprisingly someone came up to me and asked me if I recognized him. Ermm... sorry man although you explained that you were from CSA MSC I still can't remember you being there :)



Links:
Wikipedia on Richard Stallman
Wikipedia on The Church of Emacs
Richard Stallman's personal homepage

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 28, 2005 (permalink) | 7 comments | trackbacks

Thursday, August 25, 2005

wumpus.game in Google Talk... now I have proof!

In my previous entry I showed you how to get into the hidden game in Google Talk. I couldn't make it work and there aren't many people who have made it work either. However, here's proof that the wumpus game exists! Courtesy of seymour cakes. If the screenshot looks a little different from what you get in Google Talk that's because he's using Gaim (which is an IM program that I recommend you use).


Seymore Cakes beats the crap out of the Wumpus (but doesn't seem to understand the instructions along the way :P)! Hehehe...

Damn it... how come that damn wumpus.game is still not authorizing me?

posted by wyejon at Thursday, August 25, 2005 (permalink) | 2 comments | trackbacks

Built in game in Google Talk?

According to this message board there's an built in game in Google Talk. I haven't actually got it to work but it seems plausible. Go try it for yourself and tell me if it worked for you.

First, the mystery. Open up the About dialog of Google Talk by right clicking on the Google Talk icon in your taskbar and selecting About.



See the mysterious numbers at the bottom? What's written is "play 23 21 13 16 21 19 . 7 1 13 5". If you take each number as a position in the alphabets you get "wumpus.game". Invite "wumpus.game" to your Google Talk.



You should now see the user "wumpus.game" added to your Google Talk client.



The "wumpus.game" bot is supposed to authorise itself. I'm guessing what happens next is that it will initiate a chat with you and you start the game. At this moment the bot is probably down. Gonna keep retrying... anyone got it to work yet?

Related: wikipedia entry on wumpus game.

One other thing... does anyone other than me think some parts of Google talk look exactly as Gaim?

posted by wyejon at Thursday, August 25, 2005 (permalink) | 7 comments | trackbacks

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mizi Shabu Shabu, Bandar Puteri Puchong

Mizi Shabu Shabu is located in Bandar Puteri Puchong. You can find it amongst the shop lots opposite of Giant Hypermarket. You can't actually see it from the main road though so you will have to venture inside a little bit. The area is not big so it should be fairly easy to find.

Shabu Shabu is what one might call Japanese steamboat. Basically what happens is that you're served some thinly sliced meat. Using your chopsticks you pick up the meat and dabble the meat in boiling broth. Once cooked to your preference, open your mouth, insert meat, chew and swallow :)

Normal steamboat restaurants charge about RM12 per head. Expect to spend upwards of RM20 per person here. Bear in mind that you don't find shabu-shabu very often in Malaysia (or at least in Puchong) and Japanese food tends to be expensive here anyway.


Each person has their individual pot embedded into the table so if the table seats 4 it's not practical for an additional person to dine along. A little weird if you happen to have a party of 5.


Controls for the electric hot pot.


The 2 right-most dishes makes up a single set. In this case I ordered the Seafood Set. The top dish consisting of vegetables, fishballs and the like is standard with all sets. The dish at the bottom is what gives it its namesake; prawns, squids and fish.


This drink was called Honey Bubble Tea. Usually I would take the word "bubble" to mean tapioca balls but in this case the literal meaning applies though it probably should have been called Foamy Honey Tea instead.

posted by wyejon at Tuesday, August 16, 2005 (permalink) | 16 comments | trackbacks

Monday, August 15, 2005

I met Tengku Mahaleel today

I was at a Pasar Malam in TTDI yesterday evening and I spotted Tengku Mahaleel packing some dinner from a very popular Nasi Dagang/Nasi Kerabu stall. I walked up to him and told him "I think you did a good job with Proton". He put his finger over his mouth and whispered "shhhh". I guess he did not want to talk about it. Well it's not like I really had much to say anyways so I just told the Tengku to "take it easy" and he replied "I always take it easy". Cool reply :)

Before we go on, if you don't know who Tengku Mahaleel is... he was Proton's CEO. His contract was not renewed recently and I think he's out of a job now.

A few months ago if I had met him on the street like I did yesterday I would probably have cursed at him for giving Malaysians sub-standard cars. But now that he's gone and there's no reason to direct anger at Proton's many failures to him anymore. In fact, the more I think about it I sincerely think he was doing an excellent job at Proton. Well you never knew what you had till it's gone.

The best thing he did for Proton was to make Proton a true car manufacturer. Proton is no longer just a car rebadging excercise. Proton also designs and manufactures their own models. Notable ones are of course the Waja, Gen2 and Savvy. I think Savvy would have sold well if not for it's unfortunately timed launch. Of course he also had some catastrophic failures in the form of the Juara and the Arena which really makes me think that Proton did not perform any market research at all. Note: despite what Proton says they do not design every component in their cars... but then again in this day and age how many car companies actually do? It's better just to buy off specialist manufacturers.

Now the biggest problem with Proton is with it's quality. This is one area that Tengku Mahaleel is often faulted for. However if you really think about it, the quality problem can be traced back to two major factors; 1. apathetic workers and 2. forced vendor choices.

It's quite well known that Proton has many workers with the infamous "tidak-apa" attitude (obviously not everyone in Proton is like that). Changing a person's attitude is not an easy thing to do and I find it difficult to fault Tengku Mahaleel for not being able to change the attitude of Proton workers. After all he did try to approach the matter from a different perspective. The Tanjung Malim factory with it's sophisticated automation aimed to rid the human factor from car defects. The TUV certification was also a step in the right direction. However all this did little to reverse Proton's bad karma... a real pity I think.

A lot of the quality problems are also a result of lousy parts from Proton's various vendors. Because Proton is a government owned operation with the goal of developing the local car industry Proton is forced to buy only from local vendors. This policy is not necessarily a bad thing but let me go into the realm of pure speculation to try and explain why this policy was bad for Proton. The way Government Linked Corporations (GLCs) are run in Malaysia means shady dealings ensure the procurement of contracts. The vendors had no motivation to make their products better. Now, despite the fact that Tengku Mahaleel was Proton's CEO this did not mean that he had complete reign over the company. As is the case with GLCs there are many powerful and unseen hands involved (note: all pure speculation-lah).

Well all I'm trying to say is that Tengku Mahaleel has done much more good than harm to Proton. Can you think of anyone who dared to push Proton to become a full-fledged car manufacturer? I certainly cant. I think I will miss his presence and I hope Proton can continue to introduce better and more exciting models. I'm really looking forward to the hybrid model Tun Mahathir said will be coming out in around 5 years time.

Unrelated note: The Nasi Kerabu was excellent! Best I ever had. I'll blog about it some day.

posted by wyejon at Monday, August 15, 2005 (permalink) | 8 comments | trackbacks

Unbelievable... KahSoon.com Hacked!

I just came home minutes ago. Went to check out the latest pings on PPS and here's what I see!


3 near simultaneous pings from kahsoon.com

Which is kind of suspicious cause as much as I dislike that fella I doubt he would do that. Thinking it's the same kahsoon impersonator who flooded PPS with fake kahsoon pings (who I'm pretty sure is not ka-soons.blogspot.com by the way) I clicked on the links thinking it would lead me to some invalid links.


Shock... horror! KahSoon.com was hacked.

Who's responsible for this? A KahSoon hater perhaps? Well I don't know and don't want to speculate further. I pity KahSoon despite the fact that he's quite the asshole.

posted by wyejon at Monday, August 15, 2005 (permalink) | 6 comments | trackbacks

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Pointless post on herbal tea

I'm only posting this because I told a certain Rich Bastard friend that I'd post this here. We had lunch the other day at a Chinese restaurant in our workplace and ordered a herbal tea each. The name "herbal tea" is pretty much a misnomer. There is no tea in the drink. Herbal tea is usually produced by boiling various herbs and miscellaneous ingredients with rock sugar.

Now the thing about herbal tea is that you usually get a cup of herbal water without any of the ingredients that was used to make it in the first place. This place was different though, their herbal tea came with a smorgasboard ingredients including dates, some white fungus, longans, lotus seeds and a few other items which I am not able to name.

If anyone's interested they can order this herbal tea at Restaurant De Hong Kong in Summit USJ. It's just next to the McDonalds. I think it costs RM3.50, which is about double the price of regular herbal teas. It's worth it for the extra ingredients they put in though.


Wah... yum yum!

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 14, 2005 (permalink) | 3 comments | trackbacks

Working with computers and their effect on my eyesight

Being a programmer must be one of the toughest jobs on your eyes. You stare at the radiation emitting display unit (monitor-lah) all day and as is the norm with my profession of choice, many sleepness nights as well.

On my first job the hardware assigned to me was god-awful. My machine was a Pentium 133Mhz P.O.S. with a CRT monitor. No major problems there though I often got headaches resulting from neck aches because I did not practice sitting with the correct posture.

My second job provided me with great hardware. We had the latest AMD processors on our desktops and even Xeon processors for our servers. It was also my first prolonged exposure to LCD monitors. The hours were long in this job and I think this is where my eyesight started to deteriorate. However, I could still read signboards across the street.

Now my third job was the worst for my eyesight. I had a Pentium 4 PC (though most of my colleagues only had P3s) but somehow or rather they decided that the cost of RAM outweights the cost of lost productivity so they crippled the machines by giving each only 256Mb or RAM. We were running Windows XP and I had to run my Eclipse. Couple that with Rational Rose and Microsoft Word and we're talking about 5 minute load times.

But that's besides the point. After working there for several months I began to get near-daily headaches resulting from strained eyes. It was so bad that when I took my toilet breaks and I looked at the wall facing me I could see the grains on the wall moving! Driving home at night after working here provided some fresh challenges because I could not focus my eyes well anymore. I also started to notice that my right eye had significantly distorted vision than my left. I had an LCD as well on this job. They say LCDs are better for the eyes than CRTs. After my experience on this job I tend to disagree.

Now I'm working on more or less what can be considered as my fourth job (I didn't really change jobs... it's just how you look at it). I finally decided to do something about my poor eyesight and got myself a pair of glasses. They're not branded or anything but they get the job done. It helps when I use the monitor at work and though I don't usually wear it outside of work it generally helps me see better and it makes me look a little smarter to :) I'm back to using CRTs at work by the way... coupled with my new spectacles I haven't been having headaches for a week. I hope this keeps up cause I really hate headaches.


No more eagle eye vision for yours truly.

posted by wyejon at Sunday, August 14, 2005 (permalink) | 4 comments | trackbacks

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Looking for a camera phone? Skip Motorola's E398.

Ahh... my Motorola E398. The phone I so proudly own. It was a phone of firsts for me. It was my first colour phone, my first polyphonic phone and my first camera phone. I loved it when I first got it and well the fact is I still love my phone very much despite it's misgivings, one of which I'm going to talk a little bit of today.

Why am I talking about this now? Well I was in PC Fair today and I noticed a fair bit of people with the same phone as mine. It can be bought for about RM800 now. I paid nearly RM1300 for it when I got it back in November 2004. Anyways, I'm guessing that many people have bought the phone recently so here's a little warning about the hideous camera to those who intend to buy it.

Here are 2 similiar pictures for you to make a comparison. These are pictures of my workplace during a blackout.


Taken by my E398.


Taken by a friend's Nokia 6600.

Startling difference isn't it? I think I should have bought a Sony Ericsson K700i back then. Just a little public service reminder. Think of it how you will.

posted by wyejon at Saturday, August 06, 2005 (permalink) | 2 comments | trackbacks

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Google AdSense... banned for good

Here's a follow up from Google to my email from yesterday's post:




Hello,

Thank you for your response.

As previously explained, it is against our program policies for website publishers to click on the ads on their own web pages, or to encourage others to do so. In addition, the use of automated techniques to generate clicks, such as robots or scripts, is prohibited.

Please note that we have certain policies in place that we believe will help ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as our advertisers. Google monitors clicks on Google ads to prevent any abuse of the AdSense program. Google's proprietary technology analyzes all ad clicks for any invalid click activity that is intended to artificially
drive up an advertiser's clicks or a publisher's earnings.

We have thoroughly re-reviewed your account data upon receipt of your response and have reconfirmed that invalid clicks were generated on the ads on your site. According to our policy on this matter, we have disabled your account in order to protect our advertisers.

As such, we are unable to reinstate you into the program.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team




So many words wasted. Google being the creator of the simplest search engine interface in the world could learn to say lesser words. Here's what I think they should have just wrote to me:




Hello,

You're wrong... end of story.

Bye.




There... much more effective. Simple and direct to the point. Mr. Leonard would be proud. I'm not going to write a reply. Seems pointless so I'll just rant off a little here instead.

Thank you Google for still not explaining what went wrong in the first place. You truly are a beacon of transparency and accountability in this new world as is our Malaysian government. Since I'm no longer have an AdSense account may I apply to become a crony instead?

Thank you Google for totally ignoring the query about money owed to me. Since I've been booted off the program there's nothing preventing me from revealing my earnings. Last I checked I had about USD27 in my AdSense account. What's going to happen to the amount? Who's going to use that money to wipe their asses now (I had hoped to use my first AdSense cheque to clean my posterior)? Larry or Sergey or both together?

Oh and by the way I'm pretty sure I've figured out how to sabotage other people's AdSense accounts. With enough time I'm pretty sure I can even cause a high profile web site's AdSense account to be disabled (note: I'm DEFINITELY NOT going to try doing that but I'm sure I can though).

Oh well... life goes on. If you're a blogger depending on AdSense to make money (which thankfully I'm not because I have a real job to attend to) I hope you don't make any enemies online cause a Google AdSense account is an easy thing to sabotage.

posted by wyejon at Thursday, August 04, 2005 (permalink) | 20 comments | trackbacks

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Google replies on banning my AdSense

Thanks to anyone who read my post about getting my AdSense account disabled yesterday. Google replied and here's what they said.

Hello,

Thank you for your email regarding the action taken on your account.

We understand that you wish to receive specific information regarding the invalid clicks we observed on your account. However, due to the proprietary nature of our algorithm, we cannot disclose any details about how our monitoring technology works or what specifics we found on your account.

As you know, Google treats instances of invalid click activity very seriously. By disabling your account according to our policy on this matter, we feel that we have taken the necessary measures to protect our advertisers and to ensure that invalid clicks will not continue to occur on your site.

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in Google AdSense. We appreciate your understanding.

I'll summarise the email for you... Google says "You screwed up because we said you did. Don't ask us why we won't tell you. You can kiss your AdSense goodbye. Please use Yahoo's ads when they launch". Okay so I added in the last part myself :)

Anyways here's my reply... they didn't take long to reply last time let's see how they do this time:

Dear Google AdSense Employee,

Just some quick questions:

First of all I am interested to know the meaning of invalid clicks. If Google does not wish to help me determine the cause as to why my AdSense account was disabled then at the very least I will try to determine the cause myself.

Secondly, will Google reconsider the disabling of my account? Even if indeed some revenue was generated by means of fraudulent clicks surely there must be revenue belonging to me that was generated rightfully and legally. What happens to my rightful revenue? Google must be held accountable for the revenue due to me.

Lastly does Google care about instances of sabotage? For instance if I were to go to a website and fraudulently click on its AdSense advertisements repeatedly would that web site's account be banned without warning as well?

Thank you for your time.

Regards,

Lee Wye Jon

posted by wyejon at Wednesday, August 03, 2005 (permalink) | 3 comments | trackbacks

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Google AdSense Account Disabled

This morning I checked my mail to find this:

Hello Lee Wye Jon,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on the ads on your web pages. We have therefore disabled your Google AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks on any ad(s), including but not limited to clicks generated by a publisher on his own web pages, clicks generated through the use of robots, automated clicking tools, or any other deceptive software.

Practices such as these are in violation of the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions and program polices, which can be viewed at:

https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?hl=en_US
https://www.google.com/adsense/policies?hl=en_US

Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in AdSense and do not receive any further payment. The earnings on your account will be properly returned to the affected advertisers.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

Sigh... I've put up my AdSense since February this year and I've only earned a measly amount... not even near to getting my first AdSense cheque. Can someone please tell me where the hell the invalid clicks come from? The Great Lord Google does not wish to tell me. A peasant like me will never find out. But I still tried anyways.

Hi,

If there's a real person reading this please reply. May I know in what way were the terms violated? I have not made any attempts to fraudelently click on the ads.

Regards,

Lee Wye Jon

Now let's wait for the Google Gods to reply. Otherwise I'm going to start worshipping Yahoo again.

BTW... I'm not as bitter as I make it sound. Was never expecting much from Google but I certainly don't expect them to just cancel an account without reason. Google = Malaysian government?

posted by wyejon at Tuesday, August 02, 2005 (permalink) | 78 comments | trackbacks

My Photo
Name: Wye Jon Lee







www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from lee wye jon. Make your own badge here.









SARA Top Food & Drink Blogs Blogarama - The Blogs Directory Blogged.my wyejon's Profile on Ping.sg  Planet Malaysia

random avatars
template: double-u-pee v2.0b017
author: lee wye jon
updated: 11 Aug 2006
© wAntAn productions, 2006



This page renders best with Mozilla Firefox.