Wednesday, November 12, 2008

叫N73太沉重 - N73, a synonym of heartache

The Nokia N73 is a smartphone described as a multimedia computer released by Nokia in year 2006. It was famous then but what is the point of talking about this old model now?

No, I do not mean to discuss about its functionality or design. I am just missing the one I used to carry since December 2006. I dropped it carelessly in a morning 5 months ago and the person who picked it up intended to possess it after he hung up my call twice. I do not hate him, really, but I do hope he buy what he likes next time.

I used to complain about N73's "birth defects" and its Symbian OS's stupid bugs but I still like it after all. My N73 Music Edition is not a perfect product, nevertheless it costed me RM2,214.

Since June, I have been using Motorola C139, a phone by the manufacturer I dislike most, which supports only phone call and sms. It does not even have an alarm clock or polyphonic ringtones. It forces me to rely on the kampung roosters' crow in the morning. Sound crazy, eh? It is true, anyway. "I think I am going to buy a new phone", this is what I have been telling my buddies but up to now I still cannot make up my mind. I told myself I would not go for an expensive one again, and because of that, I do not know which one to buy... haha!

Oh yeah, I actually found something which managed to prove the value of my current C139 today. The steps show you how to tell where your mobile phone is made :-

1stly, type *#06# and the international mobile equipment identity (imei) number appears,
2ndly, check the 7th and 8th numbers,
finally, if the 7th and 8th digits are 13, it means your phone was assembled in Azerbaijan which is Very Bad in quality and also dangerous to your health;
if the 7th and 8th digits are 02 or 20, it means your phone was assembled in China which has Low quality;
if the 7th and 8th digits are 08 or 80, it means your phone was manufactured in Germany which has Fair quality;
if the 7th and 8th digits are 01 or 10, it means your phone was manufactured in Finland which is Very Good in quality;
well, if the 7th and 8th digits are 00, it means your phone was manufactured in original factory which has The Best quality.

Okay, you are right. Mine belongs to the last category. Do not tell me if you find these steps are merely for fun. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time to plan for your next vacation? AirAsia removes fuel surcharge and offers free seats

Great news for those who always look for a budget trip! AirAsia today abolished fuel surcharges on all its flights and said it will give away half a million free tickets next year in an attempt to lure travelers amid the global slowdown.

AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes said the region's biggest budget carrier will offer 500,000 free seats for travel between 22nd June and 24th October, 2009, on all its domestic and international destinations.

He said the recent steep drop in fuel prices has allowed AirAsia to adopt the bold strategy, adding that the loss of revenue should be offset by higher ticket sales, which will also be bolstered by new marketing strategies.

According to Fernandes, AirAsia is the first carrier in the world to abolish fuel surcharges, which became a standard industry practice a few years ago as oil prices rose on their way to peaking at nearly US$150 a barrel in mid-July. But since then, crude prices have tumbled because expectations that slower global growth will mean less demand. With the surcharges eliminated, travelers only need to pay for the airport tax and can also save the ticket charges if given free seats.

Fernandes said the move will boost Malaysia's economy as well as domestic and regional tourism by encouraging travel. This decision was also praised by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Samad but Fernandes added that he could not guarantee that the surcharge would not be reimposed if oil prices surge again.

It would be a very good opportunity for those with spare money and those who plan to go on honeymoon next year to take the offer. I have taken the similar offer before. I know it is not so easy to "fight" for the free seats as the Website's traffic will be jammed by heavy load. You have to plan one year advance and must be very sure that you can be on leave a year later or else you forfeit your ticket and lose your payment for airport tax.

YouTube to post full-length films

Here is an exciting news. YouTube, the largest video-sharing website, will show full-length television shows and films from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's archives in its latest step to boost advertising revenue by adding professional programing, the company representative said.

The site, owned by Google Inc, plans to make the announcement about the new partnership officially on Monday, US time.

MGM Studios will kick off the partnership by posting episodes of its decade-old "American Gladiators" program to YouTube on one channel.

On another channel, MGM will post full-length action films like Chow Yun-Fat's "Bulletproof Monk", "The Magnificent Seven" and clips from popular movies like "Legally Blonde." These will be free to watch, with ads running alongside the video.

YouTube in October forged a similar partnership with CBS Corp to run full-length archived shows, including the famous "Star Trek", "Young and the Restless" and the popular primetime television soap opera when I was in primary school "Beverly Hills 90210".

Many TV networks already run short clips on YouTube, which also offers millions of home videos uploaded by users.

But until now, YouTube videos were predominantly short clips of ten minutes or less. The company has been experimenting with full-length shows for some months with Time Warner Inc's HBO and CBS's Showtime cable networks.

Let's expect more surprises from the new partnerships in the near future.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wedding dinners, the hosts, the guests and Ang Pows

It is true that I was invited to wedding dinner every month since September. There are more wedding dinners to attend in the coming weeks till end of December. These are indeed happy occasions and I actually feel honoured to be part of them as a guest, although it can also be a burden financially in a sense. Imagine if you, a Malaccan, are going to attend 3 or 4 dinners in certain month, and 2 of which are arranged in KL. Then you probably need to spend very very wisely in that particular month in order to cope with the daily expenses. Besides this issue, what are the things that you hear most from the people around you when it comes to wedding dinners?

Okay, for those who are given invitation cards, I believe many will say "I kena red bomb (红色炸弹) lar!" or even worse some may say "Tiok satu lagi saman!". I am sure that the friend who invites him would feel harsh and terrible.

For those who invite people to the dinners, at least I have by far heard of this so many times, the first thing that comes to the to-be-weds' mind would be "Eh! Can we make money from it ar?" or "How much can we gain from the dinner?". It is a woeful situation, isn't it? The wedding, the ceremony and the dinner are all our traditions but this thinking is not, right?

No matter if you are the old school type or the trendy, as long as you consider yourself as a Chinese, Ang Pow means a blessing to the couple and the wedding dinner is a celebration of the marriage. The host should invite with great sincerity and the guest should be honoured when he is attending the wedding dinner by invitation.

If we find that we are living in an unhealthy culture, each and everyone of us has the right and obligation to rectify it. The idea of making money from a wedding dinner is sick. I mean we can always look for an affordable venue and plan for a dinner within our budget. Whereas being a guest, we attend the dinner with an Ang Pow filled with great blessing and money within our capability. Isn't it nice if both parties go to the dinner with a sincere heart? We do not talk about money, the amount of the Ang Pow is not a concern or at least not the first thing we care about, and we all focus on the couple and the meaning of the dinner, the auspicious occassion.

Please do not forget the real meaning of Ang Pows (红包) or Red Packets. It is a blessing with money used as a gift from a friend, a relative or a family member.





事實上,帶著負面能量的負面情緒是可怕的。它可以在某種程度上阻礙我們的工作動力,同時也讓我們對未來的憧憬和期待失去信心,更甚者可能是對未來不抱任何興 趣。因此,負面情緒一旦產生,我們該做的是設法把它“趕走”,而不是暫時把它封存,三不五時就將其釋放出來。豈不虐待自己乎?

我認為,不開心的事 不值得記錄。當然這不代表我鼓勵大家當個報喜不報憂的人,這樣是把一股悶氣強迫壓製在心底。那股悶氣會讓我們呼吸作息不規律,俗稱”條氣不順“也。一旦” 爆炸“,更是會導致精神崩潰,糟糕之至!因此,我們可以在排除將其文字記錄后,再尋找其他有效途徑。而我個人小小的經驗和觀點是把不開心的、納悶的和煩心 的事統統都吐出來,然后再讓它隨風而去。所謂不吐不快,在適當的時候我們可以找個聽眾。他不需要是個懂得安慰人或是善于提供意見的朋友,他只要是個稱職的 聽眾就好。不開心的事都訴說出來之后,人自然地就會舒服許多。然后就重振心情,回到自己的生活當中繼續打拼並扮演好自己的角色。

曾有朋友在聽了我 的言論后問說,你不是學電腦的嗎?你不也浸泡在電腦網絡的世界十年了嗎?怎么你對目前最流行的部落格好像不很贊成?不然不然,我的建議是不記錄負面心情, 不好的情緒我們讓它逝去而無痕。人類的心情有千百種,成人的思緒變幻更是千千萬,我們又何必偏要記錄下會讓自己再度受傷的東西呢?

你要是問我,那現今科技可以如何幫助我們趕走負面情緒呢?那我想,嗯。。。就把當下不開心的事和想控訴的話寫在MSN即時通的狀態信息(status message)上吧!待換個心情之后,隨時可以將其抹去又不留痕跡,豈不好么?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekend movie - Man on Fire

Today I came online in the morning and glanced through the list of movies available on PPS (refer to earlier thread posted on this blog) and I finally found this, Man on fire.

Man on Fire is a 2004 American action drama thriller film about an ex-CIA operative (assassin?) who takes the job as a bodyguard and takes revenge on a Mexican kidnapping gang after they kidnap the child he was hired to protect. The film is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name, both based on the first of a series of books by author A. J. Quinnell, starring Denzel Washington the leading actor, Dakota Fanning the very beautiful little girl, Christopher Walken and Marc Anthony. The film actually received quite a number of negative reviews by the critics but was reportedly successful in commerce. This film drew US$23 million in its opening weekend and has grossed US$130,293,714 internationally, including a box office of US$77,894,965 in the United States in particular.

Why am I blogging about this film? I have to admit that I quite like this one, although I am not so into the revenge thing. Anyway, I think it has a nice plot and a mysterious and strange background to us as it was shot in the Mexico City. I am not saying that it is a perfect or Oscar-worthy movie but this heart-wrenching one is kind of a must-see. We have seen enough heroes killing all the bad guys and saving the hostage but this movie is somewhat different and that is what makes it special. The man in the movie is not a killing maniac. He is experienced but is not a superhero who kills everyone without getting a wound or even getting his shirt dirty. Kia Xin, a good friend of mine recommended this film to me quite some time ago, until today I finally got warmed and touched by the relationship of a man and a little 9 year-old beautiful girl.

Try it if you have not watched this. John Creasy will not fail you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

High court orders Raja Petra's release

The Shah Alam High Court this morning ruled that the detention of well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA (Internal Security Act) was illegal and ordered his immediate release. Raja Petra Kamaruddin, via his habeas corpus application has succeeded to obtain a release order from his ISA detention. The Court has allowed him to be brought to court for the release. He has been detained since 12 September 2008.

Shah Alam High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled that the home minister acted outside his powers in having Raja Petra Kamaruddin arrested for allegedly causing racial tensions, said Raja Petra's lawyer, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

"It's a historic ruling and definitely a wonderful step in terms of civil liberties in Malaysia," Malik Imtiaz said. He quoted the judge as saying the grounds given for Raja Petra's detention were insufficient and his arrest under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

The Internal Security Act is a holdover from British colonial days, when it was used against communist insurgents. Independent Malaysia's postcolonial government, especially the Dr. Mahathir's government, has kept the act in the statute books and has used it sparingly against political dissidents, ignoring calls from opposition groups and others to disband the law.

Raja Petra's arrest triggered widespread protests by civil society groups, lawyers and other online commentators. Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strong anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them.

Shall we expect more news or facts revealed on from today?